'Deeply sorry': Aussie captain Tim Paine resigns after bombshell scandal

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·Sports Reporter
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Tim Paine, pictured here announcing his resignation as Australia's Test captain.
Tim Paine has resigned as Australia's Test captain. Image: AAP

Australian Test captain Tim Paine has sensationally resigned from his role only weeks out from the Ashes after he was embroiled in a texting scandal.

Paine, who was set to lead Australia into the Ashes after a recent surgery, held a press conference on Friday to announce the shock decision.

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His resignation comes after a texting incident back in 2017, which he was under investigation for allegedly sending explicit messages to a female co-worker in Tasmania.

The incident was investigated by Tasmania Cricket at the time.

But after learning the incident would come to light, Paine said he had no choice but to stand down.

"Today, I'm announcing 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," Paine said.

"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. 

"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."

Paine said after speaking to his wife, he found the best decision was to step back from his role.

Tim Paine (pictured right) and wife Bonnie Paine (pictured left) arrive ahead of the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards at Crown Palladium.
Tim Paine (pictured right) and wife Bonnie Paine (pictured left) arrive ahead of the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards at Crown Palladium. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

"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. 

"And I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately."

Australian captain Tim Paine (pictured middle) lifts the Ashes urn at The Oval on September 15th, 2019 in London.
Australian captain Tim Paine (pictured middle) lifts the Ashes urn at The Oval on September 15th, 2019 in London. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

Tim Paine thanks support of Cricket community

Paine was quick to reflect on his time as the Australian Test captain, however the 36-year-old said he would remain a part of the team ahead of the Ashes.

"I have loved my role...It's been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian men's test team," he added.

“I will remain a committed member of the Australian cricket team, and look forward with anticipation to what is a huge Ashes tour. Thank you.”

Cricket Australia chairman, Richard Freudenstein, said the move was for the best interest for everyone.

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

According to The Herald Sun, some of the messages included lewd comments.

“Will you want to taste my *** ?? F*** me, I’m seriously hard," the alleged messages read.

Paine took over as Australian cricket captain after the 2018 South Africa Tour, which involved the notorious sandpaper incident.

The Tasmanian star guided Australia during one of its toughest periods ever, but will no longer remain as captain to defend the Ashes.

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