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It took just 54 seconds into the opening show of Channel 7's The Front Bar Ashes edition to underline just how much Tim Paine would have been a human punchline had he played this summer.
A text message goes off on Sam Pang's phone and the comedian tells the audience: "It's from Tim Paine. Are we live? I'm not going to open that."
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It was a funny gag and much laughter ensued – all at Paine's expense.
Less than 24 hours later the former Australian captain was out of cricket altogether.
The Front Bar skit, obviously, had no bearing on his decision and Paine, who possesses a good sense of humour, may have smiled had the situation not been so serious.
But it is so heavy – and the concern for his wellbeing so great - Lifeline Australia put an arm around the Tasmanian following his decision to walk away from the game to concentrate on his mental health.
"Tim Paine is right to be taking positive steps to focus on his mental health and wellbeing and putting his family first at an incredibly challenging time," Lifeline patron John Brogden told Yahoo Sport Australia.
"When someone speaks up and openly acknowledges a dip in their thoughts and feelings, they are contributing to the ongoing conversation around mental health and showing others that its ok to show vulnerability and seek help."
That it has come to this has deeply upset Australian coach Justin Langer.
He has said nothing publicly about the Paine affair but will be doing well to contain his anger when he does finally talk.
He wanted Paine to stay on as captain when the scandal first surfaced and backed him to stay in the side as wicket-keeper when the leadership role became untenable.
He is shattered Paine has suffered a double jeopardy for an offence he was cleared of years ago.
And is seething about the treatment afforded the 36-yer-old, believing the media's relentless pursuit of his former skipper combined with Cricket Australia's poor handling of the situation ended the career of a fundamentally good man.
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It is Tim Paine the person, not so much the cricketer, Langer is concerned about.
Cricket Australia has done little to stem the blood, idly standing by as an angry Cricket Tasmania did the talking and acted as a key support mechanism.
It's left Langer wondering if it's all worth it.
The constant scrutiny of his performance as coach of Australia's highest profile sporting team was already draining him of his trademark enthusiasm.
But the World Cup T20 win followed by the hype and importance of an Ashes series had him back bouncing around.
It lasted all of five days.
Those close to him don't see him in the role for much longer.
He feels so let down by a game he loves that he may walk away forever.
And that would be an absolute tragedy for Australian cricket.
If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable. Phone Lifeline's Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days).
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