Paine 'ready to play in the Ashes' despite sexting scandal

Disgraced former Australia captain Tim Paine ‘is ready to play in the Ashes’ despite resigning in shame following sexting scandal as he returns to action for Tasmania’s second XI

  • Australia captain Tim Paine resigned in tears after sexting scandal emerged
  • Married father-of-two Paine, 36, sent explicit messages to Tasmania staffer
  • He was cleared of wrongdoing by Cricket Australia in 2018 but scandal emerged
  • Paine still want to play for Australia against England in this winter’s Ashes series
  • He returned to the field for first time since scandal in Tasmania second XI game  

Tim Paine has declared himself ready to play in the Ashes despite the sexting scandal that saw him stripped of the Australian captaincy last week.

The 36-year-old stepped down as Test skipper in tears after it was revealed he sent explicit messages to a Cricket Tasmania colleague back in 2017.

But Paine has now returned to action, playing for Tasmania’s second XI against South Australia at Lindisfarne Oval in Hobart, and still hopes to feature in the crunch series with England this winter.

Disgraced former Australia captain Tim Paine (centre) played for Tasmania’s second XI against South Australia on Monday days after he resigned in shame following a sexting scandal

Married father-of-two Paine, 36, sent lewd messages to a Tasmania Cricket staffer back in 2017

Paine (centre) still want to play for Australia in the Ashes series with England this winter

The disgraced former Aussie captain didn’t look too impressed by the media attention

Paine hadn’t played a competitive match since April 6, when he played for Tasmania against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield.

He underwent neck surgery in September and his appearance for the Tasmania second XI was already planned prior to the scandal emerging.

Cricket Tasmania high performance manager Simon Insley dead-batted questions about the scandal but declared Paine ‘ready to play cricket’ with the Ashes set to begin on December 8.

‘Whenever you go through challenging times you want to be around your mates and do what you do best,’ Insley said at Lindisfarne Oval.

Paine has issued a public and emotional apology to his wife Bonnie after his sexting scandal

Paine, 36, sent a photo of his penis to a female co-worker along with a stream of lewd text messages

‘He’s an exceptional cricketer and he wants to play cricket and get ready for the Ashes.

‘He wants to show signs of good form and show that he’s ready for selection. We all know Tim Paine, he a very determined individual.’

Insley said the Tasmania team were excited to play alongside Paine ‘regardless of what’s happened in the past few days’.

He added: ‘This has been a very calculated return to cricket. If there were any concerns about his fitness he wouldn’t be playing a second XI game.’

Paine took six catches as wicketkeeper as Tasmania bowled South Australia for 165 in their first innings. Paine is expected to bat at No 5 for Tasmania, who closed on 58 for one.

His text exchange with the Cricket Tasmania staffer from 2017 included an unsolicited picture of his genitals and ‘graphic sexual comments’ that caused her to complain seven months later.

The married father-of-two was investigated and cleared of wrongdoing by Cricket Australia in 2018, when he confessed to his wife Bonnie that he sexted the woman over the course of 18 hours.

But the matter was kept secret for three years until the messages were made public on Friday afternoon and Paine tearfully resigned as Australian captain just weeks before the Ashes. 

Paine took six catches as wicketkeeper as Tasmania bowled their opponents out for 165

He is expected to bat at No 5 for Tasmania when the second XI fixture resumes on Tuesday

The four-day second XI fixture and a three-day intra-squad match in Brisbane early next month will be his only hit-outs before the first Ashes clash with England on December 8.

Paine is the only wicketkeeper in Australia’s 15-man Ashes squad but Alex Carey and Josh Inglis are nipping at his heels.

Ex-Test captain Mark Taylor and former Victoria wicketkeeper Darren Berry believe Paine should be retained, given he holds the third-highest batting average of all glovemen to have played for Australia.

However, former selector Mark Waugh and Shane Warne think the time is right to look elsewhere.

Tim Paine’s rise and dramatic fall in sexting scandal

Australian captain Tim Paine walks to change ends during a cricket test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in Sydney, Australia on Jan. 9, 2021

2010: Tim Paine makes his Test debut against Pakistan, replacing injured Brad Haddin, but is dumped upon the incumbent’s return

April 2016: Paine marries Bonnie Maggs

November 17, 2017: Granted shock recall for Ashes series

November 22-23, 2017: Paine sends lewd messages to a female coworker on the eve and morning of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. The pair had exchanged texts throughout the year

January 2018: Selected for squad to tour South Africa

March 25, 2018: Appointed interim captain after Steve Smith and David Warner stood down over ‘sandpapergate’ ball tampering scandal

March 28, 2018: Paine is appointed captain for the 4th Test of the series, becoming the 46th captain of the Australian side

April 2018: Awarded a national contract by Cricket Australia 

June 2018: Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania become aware of the messages and launch an investigation, following a complaint from the woman. Paine claims he was exonerated during the investigation. His wife Bonnie was aware of the messages but chose to stick by him

2018 – 2021: Paine continues as Test captain, retaining the Ashes in England in 2019

November 19, 2021: Paine steps down as full details of the explicit messages surface

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