Tim Paine has stepped down from his role as captain of the Australian Test team. The decision came after reports of him sending messages of a sexual nature to a female co-worker four years ago were brought to light.
The wicket-keeper batsman announced his decision to the media and claimed that he is still a member of the Australian cricket team, despite the incident.
In a press conference in Hobart, Paine was quoted as saying:
"Today, I'm announced 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. 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 was absent from the Australian team for seven years and was recalled back into the team following a few months after the incident. He was eventually given captaincy duties following the infamous Sandpaper saga in South Africa. The Sandpaper incident saw then captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Green being suspended.
I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain: Tim Paine
With the Ashes coming right around the corner, Paine feels that it is the right decision to step down as the captain. He does not wish this saga to interfere with the team's preparations against England.
"I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately. I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes Series."
"I have loved my role as captain of the Australian cricket team. It's been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian men's test team. I'm grateful for the support of my teammates and proud of what we've been able to achieve together."
The Australian cricket board has accepted Paine's resignation and have assured him that an accelerated process will ensue to find his replacement. Pat Cummins is the current vice-captain and had earlier claimed that he would be ready to lead the time if and when the time comes,