Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt has urged people not to be too harsh on Tim Paine or pass judgments on him based on the Australian's recent controversy. According to Butt, Paine made a mistake and has stepped down as Australian captain, so there is no reason to drag the matter and point fingers at him.
36-year-old Paine, on Friday, resigned as captain of the Australian Test team over his involvement in a sexting scandal that recently became public. The wicketkeeper-batter sent lewd messages to a co-worker back in 2017. He was even investigated by Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania, who concluded that he had not breached the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct.
Asked to share his views on the Paine controversy, Butt said that having himself been at the centre of the spot-fixing scandal, he knows how tough life can get for a person caught in an unsavory situation.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt requested people not to say nasty things about the former Australian Test captain. He commented:
“Many people may have gone through this stage in life. I have been through something as well. People should not build their argument around someone’s misery and take a high moral ground. Humans should not do this, according to me. He made a mistake, he has apologized and stepped down. Let’s move on.”
Butt added about Paine:
“I am not a great fan of him as a cricketer or his attitude. He is not an outstanding batter or captain but he is human at the end of the day.”
Incidentally, Butt, along with Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, was banned for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal and also served a jail sentence in the UK.
Cricket Australia admits allowing Tim Paine to continue as captain was a mistake
Cricket Australia (CA) has conceded that allowing Paine to continue as captain despite his involvement in a sexting scandal in 2017 was a mistake. According to CA, Paine should have been stood down as Australia’s Test captain after he was investigated for sending lewd messages to a co-worker.
Speaking to reporters, current CA chairman Richard Freudenstein commented:
“I can’t talk about the 2018 decision, I wasn’t there. But I am saying, based on the facts as they are, today the board of Cricket Australia would not have made that decision. I acknowledge the decision clearly sent the wrong message that this behaviour is acceptable and without serious consequences. The role of Australian cricket captain must be held to the highest standards.”
Paine was named Australia’s Test captain in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in 2018 that led to one-year bans for Steve Smith and David Warner.