Tim Paine has taken an indefinite mental health break from the game, which means he will be unavailable for the upcoming Ashes series at home. Paine was due to play for Tasmania in the Marsh Cup on Friday in build-up to the first Test starting on December 8, but has withdrawn from the game.
The recent emergence of 2017 texting controversy led in Tim Paine resigning from Australia's Test captaincy role. Paine had sent lewd images to a Cricket Tasmania female co-worker in 2017, and was cleared of the charges by the integrity investigation unit a year later. Former board member and captain Mark Taylor had said a few days back that the matter was kept in-house was in the interest of Paine, his wife Bonnie and the Cricket Tasmania employee.
Meanwhile, Paine’s manager James Henderson has tweeted that the wicket-keeper batsman is taking a mental health break and won’t comment any further.
"Confirming that [Tim Paine] is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break," Paine's manager James Henderson tweeted. "We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie's well-being and will be making no further comment at this time."
Confirming that @tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break. We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie’s well-being and will be making no further comment at this time.— James Henderson (@jahenderson63) November 25, 2021
Cricket Tasmania, in an official statement, revealed that the 36-year-old has advised that he is taking a break from all forms of cricket for a foreseeable future.
"Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future.
"Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer," the statement said.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said that the board understands and respects the decision and will support the former skipper.
"We recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for Tim and his family and are committed to supporting them," Hockley said. "We respect and understand Tim's decision to have a break at this time to focus on his and his family's well-being."
"The National Selection Panel will meet in the coming days to discuss the final squad ahead of the first Ashes Test," Hockley added.
CA chairperson Greg Dyer and chief executive Tood Greenberg have issued a joint statement stressing on the importance of family and mental health.
"First and foremost, the thoughts of the players and everyone at the ACA are with Tim and Bonnie," the statement said. "Family and health are more important than any game of cricket. It takes genuine courage to both recognize the need for help and to ask for it. Tim now needs some time and space and we support his decision.
"Tim made the decision to stand down from the captaincy with the best interests of the game at heart. We hope now that Tim's best interests will also be respected."
In a conversation with the Herald Sun, Paine has cleared that he wasn’t going to retire even if Australia wins the Ashes.
"I wasn't going to retire, I'd been pretty clear I wanted to keep playing, and potentially finish after this Ashes series," he told the Herald Sun. "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. To go and represent my country, well, and help win the Ashes."