Oz chiefs flayed over treatment of scandal-hit Paine

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 24 Nov 2021

Cricket Tasmania's chief attacked Australia's governing body yesterday over its treatment of former Test skipper Tim Paine.

Tasmanian Paine tearfully quit as captain on Friday ahead of the Ashes series against England over lewd text messages with a female colleague in 2017 that were about to be made public.

Cricket Tasmania's Andrew Gaggin said Cricket Australia should have shown him more loyalty.

"Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town. Yet he was evidently regarded as dispensable."

Paine took over in March 2018 amid a sandpaper scandal. Then-captain Steve Smith and deputy David Warner had to step down over a bid to alter the condition of the ball during a Test against South Africa.

Australian authorities investigated the sexting allegations against Paine in 2018 and cleared him of any conduct breach.

But at the weekend current Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein, elected to the board in 2019, said it was a mistake not to ax him at the time.

Gaggin said Paine "should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign" over an incident that was settled.

Despite relinquishing the captaincy, Paine wants to be considered as wicketkeeper for the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane on December 8.

The decision will be made by a three-man selection panel.

Working against Paine is a lack of fitness after recent surgery for a bulging disc.

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