Australia's former Test captain Tim Paine has accused South Africa of cheating in an explosive new twist to cricket's infamous ball-tampering saga.
Paine replaced Steve Smith as Test captain in 2018 after the latter was handed a lengthy suspension - alongside Cameron Bancroft and David Warner - for their roles in the Cape Town sandpaper scandal.
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The 37-year-old Paine denies any suggestion of a team meeting around the plan for Bancroft to use sandpaper on the ball during the third Test of the series against South Africa.
In his new autobiography titled, The Price Paid: a story of life, cricket and lessons learned,' Paine touches on a number of subjects including the infamous cheating saga.
Among a number of bombshell comments from Paine are accusations that South Africa were also guilty of tampering with the ball, during the fourth Test of the series.
Paine's extraordinary revelation contained allegations that South Africa's host TV broadcaster even went as far as covering up the Proteas' actions when Paine and his Aussie teammates raised concerns.
"I saw it happen in the fourth Test of that series," Paine wrote after allegedly seeing a South Africa player pulling apart the seam of the ball.
"Think about that. After everything that had happened in Cape Town, after all the headlines and bans and carry on.
"I was standing at the bowlers' end in the next Test when a shot came up on the screen of a South African player at mid-off having a huge crack at the ball.
"The television director, who had played an active role in catching out Cam, immediately pulled the shot off the screen.
"We went to the umpires about it, which might seem a bit poor, but we'd been slaughtered and were convinced they'd been up to it since the first Test.
"But the footage got lost. As it would."
Tim Paine feels for David Warner
Paine said it felt like Australia were being "provoked" throughout the series amid crowd abuse of players' families with David Warner a particular target.
The wicketkeeper also claimed Warner had every right to be upset after he thought Quinton de Kock had made a comment about his wife Candice before the infamous stairway confrontation in Kingsmead.
"I was the one holding them apart and I know how it unfolded," Paine said.
Paine has regularly called for Warner's lifetime leadership ban to be lifted, claiming Cricket Australia seized an opportunity to punish him after the previous year's pay talks.
And he admitted he felt as if the side had let the opener down before the Cape Town debacle.
"I don't know how (Warner) kept his cool in those situations and on reflection I feel the team let him down by not offering him more support," Paine wrote.
"I can see now he was masking a lot of pain and we should have known it."
In his tell-all book, Paine also took aim at Cricket Australia after claiming he was "hung out to dry" in the wake of a sexting scandal that saw him stand down as Australia's Test captain.
The former skipper says his mental health deteriorated after he stepped away from the national team last November, when a text message exchange dating back to 2017 with former Cricket Tasmania employee Renee Ferguson became public knowledge.
Paine has long maintained his innocence with regard to the 2018 investigation, announcing his snap retirement from the sport last November and revealing details of a conversation between himself and CA boss Nick Hockley the night before he did so, with an unnamed CA public relations consultant on the line as well.
The 37-year-old said he felt it was abundantly clear that CA were not concerned about damage to his own reputation and were only worried about their own image.
"I felt they were driven by the need to protect their image ... they were hanging me out to dry," Paine wrote.
"I was prepared to cop the flak for what I did, but in my mind Cricket Australia had abandoned me and made it look like they thought I'd sexually harassed someone."
Paine was cleared of wrongdoing in relation to the text messages by a CA investigation in 2018 and maintains the exchange was consensual.
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