“Deeply sorry” Tim Paine quits as Test captain over sexting scandal

Australia’s Ashes campaign has been rocked by scandal, with Test captain Tim Paine resigning as skipper – effective immediately.

It comes after it emerged Paine had been the subject of an investigation by Cricket Australia over sexually explicit messages and a photo sent to a co-worker in 2017.

The investigation cleared Paine of any breaches of the code of conduct several years ago, but the 36-year-old fronted media on Friday admitting he felt it was only right for him to step down.


“On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community,” an emotional Paine said while addressing the nation.

“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. And 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.”

Paine continued by thanking his wife and family for standing by him.

“Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today,” he said.

“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.”

Paine described the role as captain as being the “greatest privilege of my sporting life”.

“I’m grateful for the support of my teammates and proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together,” he said.

“To them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness. To Australian cricket fans – I am deeply sorry that my past behaviour has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes.

“For the disappointment I have caused to fans and the entire cricket community, I apologise.

“I’ve been blessed with a wonderful, loving and supportive family, and it breaks my heart to know how much I’ve let them down… They have always stood by me, been my most loyal fans, and I’m indebted to them for their support.

Fighting back tears, the former skipper reassured fans that he will remain a “committed member of the Australian cricket team”

“And I look forward with anticipation to what is a huge Ashes tour.”

Cricket Australia has since released a brief statement, confirming they have accepted Paine’s decision to step down.

“Tim felt it was in the best interests of his family and Australian cricket to take this decision to step down as captain,” the statement said.

“The Board has accepted Tim’s resignation and will now work through a process with the National Selection Panel of identifying and appointing a new captain.”

Vice-captain Pat Cummins is favoured to take over.