Tim Paine has revealed that Australia head coach Justin Langer wanted him to continue as the captain of the Test team. Paine abruptly quit captaincy last week, ahead of the Ashes series against England over a series of lewd text messages with a female colleague in 2017. He took the big decision after he had learnt that the scandal was about to be made public.
The wicket-keeper batter has played 35 Tests for Australia since making his international debut in 2009, scoring 1534 runs and claiming 157 dismissals in the longest format. He became Australia’s 46th Test captain after the infamous ball-tampering saga in 2018, taking over from Steve Smith.
Paine said that Langer was devasted with the decision and was with him when he explained the reasons for taking the call.
“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 told the Melbourne Herald Sun in an interview.
“I’ve got messages from all my teammates saying they’ve got my back, and that we all make mistakes, and we move on.”
However, current CA chairman Richard Freudenstein, who was elected to the board in 2019, on Saturday admitted it was the wrong call and said Paine should have been axed at the time.
“While I cannot speak about the original decision-making in 2018 … with the benefit of all relevant information about this matter, Cricket Australia would not make the same decision today,” he said at a press conference.
“I acknowledge that the decision clearly sent the wrong message to the sport, to the community and to Tim — that this kind of behaviour is acceptable and without serious consequences. The role of Australia captain must be held to the highest standards,” he added.
Meanwhile, Paine has made himself available for the Ashes 2021/22 which will start next month but Cricket Australia has not announced the new captain yet.