Former Australia Test skipper Tim Paine has revealed that he knew the texting controversy was going to come out in the public domain at some point of time. Few days ago, Paine resigned from the Test captaincy in a press conference with immediate effect after details of the controversy emerged.
Paine was cleared of the misconduct in 2018 by integrity unit investigation after he was found to have sent lewd and graphically explicit messages to a Cricket Tasmania employee in 2017. With only a few days left for the start of the Ashes, the team is yet to appoint a captain. Now Cricket Australia will appoint the new captain after background checks to keep the integrity issues in check. CA chairperson Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley on Saturday said that they would have sacked Paine if they were in charge at that point of time. However, both of them didn’t take any action when they joined the office in 2019 and 2020 respectively as they felt there was no need.
Meanwhile, the wicket-keeper batsman admitted that it was inevitable that the controversy would come out.
"I thought the issue was dealt with, but it always popped up around a big series, or at the start of the cricket season," the wicket-keeper batsman said in a Herald Sun interview beside his wife Bonnie. "Over the last three years, there have been numerous times where media agencies have put to us that they had evidence, yet they never chose to write it.
"But I knew it was going to come out at some point, as much as I didn't want it to."
The 36-year-old added that while the conversation was consensual, he didn’t think that it would become an issue.
"Because it was a consensual exchange of messages months beforehand, I didn't think it was anything to consider. I never thought for a moment that it would become an issue. I was just excited and honoured to be asked," the 36-year-old added.
The right-hander is hopeful that he can contribute as a team member and would like to finish his career with an Ashes win.
"I see that as the ultimate high, to be able to finish your Test career after winning an Ashes series in Australia. That's the dream. That's what I want to do," the wicketkeeper said.
Paine revealed that the head coach Justin Langer was devastated by the revelation and he explained to Langer why he was stepping down.
"JL [Justin Langer] told me he's devastated. He was pretty firm that he wanted me to continue as captain, and again, once I explained to him the reasons that I thought resigning was the best thing to do, he was with me all the way," Paine revealed.