'Saddened that he felt the need to resign from captaincy' - ACA amid Tim Paine's 'sexting' fiasco

‘Saddened that he felt the need to resign from captaincy’ – ACA amid Tim Paine’s ‘sexting’ fiasco

Paine stepped down as Australia's Test skipper after his inappropriate messages sent to a female co-worker in 2017 came to light.

Tim Paine Australia
Tim Paine. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) on Friday extended their support to Tim Paine while expressing sadness over the entire incident that led to Paine’s stepping down as Australia’s Test captain only a month before the commencement of the Ashes at home. Paine announced the decision on November 19 after his inappropriate messages and unsolicited explicit image sent to a female co-worker in 2017 came to light.

“While respecting the decision made by Tim Paine, the ACA is saddened that he felt the need to resign from the captaincy of the Australian Test team,” the ACA said in a statement. “While regrettable, this was a historical mistake that was a private matter between consenting individuals. Tim fully cooperated in an integrity investigation by Cricket Australia in 2018 in which he was exonerated.”

As per reports, a Cricket Tasmania employee was learned to be offended by Paine’s “sexually explicit, unwelcome and unsolicited photograph of his genitals in addition to the graphic sexual comments.”

“Tim humbly recognised the respect that comes with the Australian captaincy and his resignation reflects the esteem in which he held the role that he served so well in a trying period for Australian cricket,” ACA statement read.

“Tim’s captaincy has been regarded throughout the cricket world as playing a crucial role in restoring pride back in the Australian team, both in their performance and the spirit in which they play the game. While Tim has clearly made a mistake, he will continue to have the full and unequivocal support of the ACA,” it added.

Meanwhile, Paine apologized to his teammates, family and supporters across the world in a statement read out by him in Hobart during a press conference. “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.”

“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.

“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. 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. I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes Series.”