Tim Paine opened up on the sexting scandal. Photograph:( AFP )
Australian batter Tim Paine has opened up on the sexting scandal that recently forced him to step down as the captain of the Test team.
Tim Paine recently stepped down as the captain of the Australian Test team after the reemergence of the sexting scandal that he was involved in. Paine had exchanged sexual graphics and lewd messages with a female co-worker in 2017. He was later cleared after the matter was investigated by Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania.
However, the case has been brought up again which forced Paine to quit as the Test captain while admitting that his actions back in 2017 did not fit the standards of an Australian Test skipper or that of the wider community. Paine has now opened up on the scandal which has tainted his career and prompted him to resign at a crucial juncture just days ahead of the start of Ashes 2021-22.
Paine said he knew that the scandal was going to come back to haunt him at some point. However, he insisted that the exchange he had with the female colleague was a consensual one and he never thought it was going to become an issue in the future.
“I thought the issue was dealt with, but it always popped up around a big series, or at the start of the cricket season. 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,” Paine told the Herald Sun.
“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,” he added.
Paine, who was recalled in the Australian Test team in 2018, was elevated to captaincy after the ball-tampering scandal in the same year which had led to Steve Smith getting banned for a year. Paine has since had a great rise as the captain of the side and helped Australia retain the Urn in Ashes 2019.
The wicket-keeper batter is hopeful of taking part in the upcoming Ashes in Australia as a player despite having relinquished captaincy over the sexting scandal and wants to finish his career on a high by winning the Ashes.
“Yep, I’m sure I can. 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,” said Paine.