Tim Paine quits as Australia captain after sending explicit messages to a female colleague

Tim Paine has resigned as Australia’s Test captain on the eve of the Ashes after an investigation by Cricket Australia into explicit messages he sent to a colleague.

Paine told a press conference in Hobart on Thursday that he would give up the captaincy after admitting a text exchange with a female co-worker in 2017.

The 36-year-old, who has captained Australia’s Test team since Steve Smith quit over the ball-tampering scandal in 2018, insisted he had not breached Cricket Australia’s conduct rules over the messages but said the decision was right for the reputation of the sport.

“Nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague,” Paine told reporters in Hobart. “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.

“That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR investigation at the same time found that there had been no breach of the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct. 

“Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today. I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support. 

He added: “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. On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community. 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.”

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