Just months out from the Ashes series against England and Australian cricket has been rocked by yet another scandal.
Tim Paine has stepped down as Australian Test captain after a sexting case came to light.
According to reports, the 36-year-old was being investigated by Cricket Australia after allegedly sending a co-worker an explicit image of himself.
It's understood Paine also sent a bunch of inappropriate texts to the person too.
"Tim felt it was in the best interests of his family and Australian cricket to take this decision to step down as captain," Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein said.
"The Board has accepted Tim's resignation and will now work through a process with the National Selection Panel of identifying and appointing a new captain."
Tim Paine speaking after confirming he'd stand down as the Australian Men's Test captain. He will be available for the Ashes. pic.twitter.com/PdwPIvfHXl- Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) November 19, 2021
Paine, who was promoted to captain following the controversial ball tampering scandal back in 2018, has now found himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Appearing in a press conference, Paine struggled to contain his emotions as he broke down in tears while giving a statement.
"Today I am announcing my decision to stand down as captain of the Australian men's cricket team. It's a difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family and cricket.
"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 and openly 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 the 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. I have loved my role as captain of the Australian cricket team. It's been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian men's test team.
"I'm grateful for the support of my teammates and proud of what we've been able to achieve together. To them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness. To Australian cricket fans - deeply sorry that my past behaviour has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes. For the disappointment I have caused to fans and the entire cricket community, I apologise. I've been blessed with a wonderful, loving and supportive family, and it breaks my heart to know how much I've let them down. They have always stood by me, been my most loyal fans, and I'm indebted to them for their support.
"I will remain a committed member of the Australian cricket team, and look forward with anticipation to what is a huge Ashes tour. Thank you."
Reports suggest the exchange included Paine texting: "Will you want to taste my ***? F*** me, I'm seriously hard."
Meanwhile, some other claims made on social media allege Pain said: "Naughty thoughts like what? I'm about to give something firm a pull..."
It's said "dick pics" were sent too.
These messages date back to the eve of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in 2017.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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