Explained! Why Tim Paine has stepped down as Australia's Test captain 4 years after sexting scandal

Written By: Abhishek Kumar WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Nov 19, 2021, 12:02 PM(IST)

Tim Paine resigned as Australia's Test captain over a sexting scandal on Friday. Photograph:( AFP )

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Here is a look at the details and the timeline of events of the sexting scandal which has forced Tim Paine to step down as Australia's Test captain, four years after it first broke out in 2017.

Tim Paine on Friday (November 19) announced he will be stepping down as Australia's Test captain while apologising for his actions four years ago. Paine has been forced to resign over a sexting scandal involving him and a former female colleague from 2017. Paine's abrupt decision to quit captaincy just days ahead of the start of Ashes has left the cricket fraternity in shock.

While addressing the media in Hobart on Friday, Paine was in tears as he announced his decision to quit Test captaincy. He later released a full statement on his decision to step down from his post.

The messages exchanged between him and his former co-worker date back to 2017. Paine was cleared by Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania at the time but the re-emergence of the investigation has prompted him to take a call on his future as the captain of the Australian Test team. 

"Today, I'm announcing 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," Paine said in his statement.

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Why has Tim Paine resigned four years after the investigation?

In 2017, months before he was recalled in the Australian Test team after a gap of seven years, Paine was in the middle of a sexting scandal. He had exchanged sexual graphics with a female co-worker. The exchange was subject to a CA Integrity Unit investigation and the matter was investigated by Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania with full cooperation from Paine.

It was later ruled that there was no breach of Cricket Australia's Code of Conduct by Paine and he was given a clean chit. However, Paine admitted he regretted the incident at the time and has insisted his actions from 2017 'do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community'.

Paine's admission has come in the wake of being named in a News Corp report which has decided to make his chats with his female co-worker public. The fact that his chats will soon go public has forced Paine to relinquish Test captaincy after consulting with his family and Cricket Australia.

"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," Paine said in his statement.

"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," he added explaining the reason behind his decision.

Also Read: Australia's Tim Paine resigns as captain after his involvement in sexting scandal

Paine had a remarkable rise after being recalled in the Australian Test team after seven years in 2018 as he was soon elevated to captaincy in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal. The ball-tampering scandal saw Steve Smith getting sacked as then Australian Test captain and subsequently being banned from all cricket for a year.

Paine replaced Smith in the aftermath of the controversy and helped Australia retain the Ashes in 2019. The Australian cricket board has accepted Paine's resignation as captain and will be soon announcing the new captain of the Aussie Test team. While he has stepped down as captain, Paine has made himself available for selection as a player for the upcoming Ashes.


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