Tim Paine drops Justin Langer bombshell amid sexting scandal

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·Sports Editor
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Tim Paine and Justin Langer, pictured here before a Test match in 2019.
Tim Paine says Justin Langer didn't want him to step down. (Photo by Daniel Pockett - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Tim Paine has revealed coach Justin Langer didn't want him to step down as Australia's Test captain when his historic sexting scandal was made public.

In an emotional interview alongside wife Bonnie on Sunday, Paine opened up about the sexting scandal after announcing his resignation on Friday.

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Paine's resignation came amid revelations he was at the centre of a 2018 integrity unit investigation into lewd texts with a female Cricket Tasmania colleague.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, Paine said the decision to stand down was his own and went against the wishes of coach Langer.

“It was mine and mine alone,” Paine said. 

“It was hard, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I feel completely gutted, but it’s all my doing, and I know resigning is the right call.”

Paine revealed “plenty of people" including Langer wanted him to stay on.

“JL told me he’s devastated,” Paine said.

“He was pretty firm that he wanted me to continue as captain, and again, once I explained to him the reasons that I thought resigning was the best thing to do, he was with me all the way.

“I’ve got messages from all my teammates saying they’ve got my back, and that we all make mistakes, and we move on."

Tim Paine, pictured here with wife Bonnie at the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards.
Tim Paine with wife Bonnie at the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Former Cricket Australia boss lashes current administration

Meanwhile, former Cricket Australia chairman David Peever has hit out at the current board, accusing it of abandoning the fallen Test captain.

In an angry statement, Peever accused CA of a knee-jerk reaction and hit back at new chairman Richard Freudenstein's claims the current board would have taken the captaincy off Paine three years ago.

It was under Peever's administration that Paine was cleared of any misconduct following the 2018 integrity unit investigation.

Peever said it was unfair for Paine to be cleared of misconduct in 2018, only to have a new board say he should have been punished now following Friday's resignation.

"I'm disappointed to see a current chairman publicly criticising decisions of a previous board, several members of whom are still on the board and were part of the 2018 decision," Peever said.

"I'm also very disappointed at the way Tim Paine had been treated by Cricket Australia.

"Tim has been an incredible servant of the game and took over the leadership of the national team in the most difficult of circumstances.

"He has led with distinction for more than three years. He deserves Cricket Australia's loyalty and not to be abandoned at this time."

Freudenstein's comments on Saturday essentially claimed that while the findings of the investigation were still correct, Peever's board should have held Paine to a higher account as captain.

But Peever questioned how any decisions could be made if the texts were found to be private, consensual and not an act of misconduct.

"Why have a code of conduct if you are going to make up your own rules as you go?" Peever said.

"Cricket Australia's decision seems knee jerk and unfortunately shows double standards.

"This issue has been doing the rounds in cricket circles for some years now.

"The current chairman has been on the board for two years and it is implausible he didn't know about it.

"If he and his board felt so strongly about it, why wait until now to act?"

Peever's point was corroborated by Tim Paine's interview, where he described the incident as a ticking time bomb that he knew would one day be made public.

Paine confirmed there had been "numerous times" when media agencies had made enquiries about the story, but it had not been aired or published.

with AAP

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