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Justin Langer wanted me to continue as captain, says Tim Paine after quitting role over sexting scandal


Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine said Justin Langer was devasted when he informed about his decision to quit the high-profile role over a sexting scandal. Paine said it was a tough but the right call to make in the lead up to the all-important Ashes series at home, starting December 8.

Tim Paine quit as Australia’s Test captain on Sunday, saying he knew the implicit messages he had sent to a former female colleague was set to come out in the public’s view. Paine, in a tearful message, admitted that his actions from the past were not worthy of leading the senior national side.

Tim Paine was cleared of any misconduct after a Cricket Australia investigation into the issue following a complaint by the female colleague in 2018. Paine took over as Australia’s Test captain in the same year following the Sandpaper Gate row in which Steve Smith lost his captaincy.

However, Paine took the call to quit the top job in Australian cricket to avoid distraction ahead of Ashes 2021-22, which will be played at home.

Speaking to Herald Sun, Paine said quite a few, including Justin Langer, urged him to stay on as captain while stressing that his teammates did not have prior knowledge of the sexting scandal.

“JL (Langer) told me he’s devastated. He was pretty firm that he wanted me to continue as captain, and again, once I explained to him the reasons that I thought resigning was the best thing to do, he was with me all the way,” Paine said.

“I’ve got messages from all my teammates saying they’ve got my back, and that we all make mistakes, and we move on.”


Meanwhile, Paine said he was not forced to give up captaincy and the decision to stand down as the skipper was his personal choice.

“It was mine and mine alone. It was hard, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I feel completely gutted, but it’s all my doing, and I know resigning is the right call,” he added.

Questions have been raised as to how Australia allowed Tim Paine to continue as captain despite the sexting scandal. However, Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley on Saturday admitted that they would have fired Tim Paine as the captain had they been in charge during the investigation in 2018.

Quite a few former Australia cricketers are backing fast bowler Pat Cummins to take over as captain while Steve Smith’s name is also among the list of candidates for the top job.

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