Tim Paine has resigned from Australia Test captaincy on Friday as he announced his decision in a press conference following the emergence of an off-field scandal. The board has accepted Paine’s resignation and will accelerate the identification and appointment of the new Test captain for Australia.
The Ashes is set to start with the first Test on December 8 in Brisbane and Australia has suffered a massive blow to their Ashes defence. Tim Paine has announced that he will be quitting as Australia Test captain in a press conference at Blundstone Arena on Friday. The decision was taken following an off-field scandal and Paine read out a prepared statement stating his resignation from captaincy was the right decision for him and his family.
"It's an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket," said Paine, reported Cricinfo.
"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.”
A joint Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania investigation had cleared Paine of the charges at that time. Reflecting on the incident, Paine said that investigation by Cricket Tasmania had found that there had been no breach of code of conduct and that he still regrets the incident.
"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,” the statement read.
"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.”
Paine has captained the side in 23 Tests winning 11 of them. The team lost 8 matches under his leadership while four matches resulted in a draw. Paine admitted that his actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of the Australia Test captain.
"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,” he explained.
Paine further apologised to the fans for his actions and said that it was the right decision to step down as a captain with immediate effect.
"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,” he stated.
"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."
Cricket Australia chair Richard Freudenstein has confirmed that the board has accepted Paine’s resignation.
"The Board has accepted Tim's resignation and will now work through a process with the National Selection Panel of identifying and appointing a new captain,” he said.
"While the Board acknowledges an investigation cleared Tim of any breach of the code of conduct regarding this matter some years ago, we respect his decision.”
He also added that Tim Paine has been an impressive leader in his tenure and will be available for selection in the Test team.
"Despite the mistake he made, Tim has been an exceptional leader since his appointment and the Board thanks him for his distinguished service. Tim will continue to be available for selection in the Test team through the Ashes summer,” he concluded.