The Ashes: Tim Paine resigns as Australian captain over sexting scandal

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Tim Paine has resigned as Australia’s Test captain after an investigation over an inappropriate private-text exchange between him and a female colleague back in 2017.

The 36-year-old’s decision to step down from his captaincy comes just a few weeks before the Ashes commences in Brisbane.

Paine had sent explicit text messages to a female co-worker in 2017 and an investigation carried out by Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania cleared him at the time.

Paine spoke to reporters in Hobart regarding his resignation and said that the decision was in the best interests of his family and Australian cricket. “Today, I'm announcing my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian men's test team", said the 36-year-old.

"It's an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket. As background on my decision, nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague.

"At the time, the exchange was the subject of a thorough CA Integrity Unit investigation, throughout which I fully participated in and openly participated in.

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Enter Giveaway

"That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR investigation at the same time found that there had been no breach of the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct. Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today.

“I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support. We thought this incident was behind us and that I could focus entirely on the team, as I have done for the last three or four years.

“However, I recently became aware that this private text exchange was going to become public. On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community.

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"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused to my wife, my family, and to the other party. I'm sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport.”

Cricket Australia said that they respect Paine’s decision to resign and that he is still available for selection in the Ashes.

The 36-year-old became his nation’s Test captain in 2018 following the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft receiving one-year bans.

Australia won 11 out of the 23 Tests in which Paine was captain and he became the first Aussie skipper since Steve Waugh to retain the Ashes in England. 

No replacement for him has been decided yet but it looks like Pat Cummins, who is the vice-captain will be promoted.

However, it won’t be a surprise if either of Steve Smith or David Warner is appointed as the new Test captain.

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