Tim Paine, on Friday step down as Australia’s Test captain with the 36-year-old wicketkeeper batter announcing the decision at a press conference in Hobart.
Paine has been investigated by governing body Cricket Australia for sending a female co-worker some lewd text messages and an inappropriate picture back in 2017, media said on Friday.
Cricket Australia said it accepted the resignation and would appoint a new captain soon. At the same time, the cricket body confirmed that the 36-year-old would be available for selection for the Ashes.
Notably, fast bowler Pat Cummins is the current vice-captain of Australia and is expected to become the team’s new captain.
“Today, I’m announce my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian men’s test team. It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,” an emotional Tim Paine said in the press-conference.
Tim Paine, in the conference admitted about the texts he sent to a female co-worker and decided to quit captaincy upon learning that the texts could be made public.
“As a 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.
“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. 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.
“And I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately. I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes Series,” the 36-year-old elaborated.
Tim Paine, further apologised to his teammates for putting his team in the wrong attention ahead of the mega series.
“To them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness. To Australian cricket fans I’m deeply sorry that my past behaviour has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes. For the disappointment I have caused to fans and the entire cricket community, I apologise,” the wicket-keeper addded.