Australian cricket was rocked by another shocking development on Friday (November 26). Former Test skipper Tim Paine has confirmed he will be taking leave from all cricket for an indefinite period of time.
Paine's manager James Henderson wrote on Twitter that the Tasmanian wicketkeeper will be taking a break to prioritize his mental health.
"Confirming that (Paine) 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,"
The development comes days after an emotional Paine quit as Australian Test captain following the re-surfacing of his sexting scandal with a Cricket Tasmania staffer a few years ago.
While relinquishing leadership duties, Paine expressed his commitment to representing the national team in the upcoming home Ashes. He featured in a second XI FC game for Tasmania earlier this week and was also named in the squad for the Marsh ODD Cup.
Paine was the only wicketkeeper named in the original Ashes squad for the first couple of Tests. His sudden exit means one of Alex Carey and Josh Inglis will claim the keeping gloves for the Gabba Test.
Cricket Tasmania releases official statement following Tim Paine's decision
Paine informed the national selectors about his decision an hour before the news broke. Following his decision to quit cricket for an indefinite period, Cricket Tasmania released an official statement that read:
''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,"
"Tim's decision makes him unavailable for selection for today's Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia. His place in the squad will be taken by Charlie Wakim.
''Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer."
Meanwhile, fast bowler Pat Cummins is all set to succeed Paine and become Australia's 47th men's captain.
According to Fox Sports, former skipper Steve Smith is also set to return to a leadership role after three years. Smith is likely to be named Cummins' deputy.
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Paine's self-imposed exile means he may well have played his last international game for Australia. The 37-year-old, who took over the captaincy in the immediate aftermath of the Newlands ball tampering scandal, has featured in 35 Tests, 35 ODIs and 12 T20Is since making his debut in 2010.