Australia coach Justin Langer has come out and defended ex-Test team skipper Tim Paine who finds himself in a raging scandal. After reports emerged that Paine was involved in sexting a Cricket Tasmania female employee, his world has come crashing down. He has been targeted on social media, and faced boycotts. Such was the toll on the 37-year-old’s mental health that he decided to take a break from the all-important Ashes. Making way for younger and talented prospects such as Alex Carey. Meanwhile, Australia head coach Justin Langer couldn’t help himself, but fly down to Hobart, Tasmania to meet his ‘good friend’.
“I’m very sad with what’s happened. He’s one of my really close friends and someone I admire enormously. Certainly in this generation of players, he’s one of the best people I’ve met in the game of cricket,” he told Fox Cricket.
“He’s been our captain for a long time, he and I have been through a journey like we have with all of this group. He’s one of the best people I’ve met in cricket, so it was nice to go down and see him. When I saw him, he’s obviously shattered with what’s happened. He has been such an exemplary figure in Australian cricket for the last four years particularly. His life has changed, obviously. But you’d have to ask him how he’s going."
“It was important to see him, we talk about looking after our boys and having each other’s backs. It was a no-brainer for me to go and see him.”
Langer added that Paine bore the brunt of living in a judgemental society where everybody is a perfectionist. “As I said in my very first press conference when I was asked about Steve Smith and David Warner and Cameron Bancroft (after the ball-tampering saga) – there’s not one person who is asking questions here, or who is on the camera here, or who is listening to this or watching who hasn’t made a mistake in their life."
“There’s not a single person. Our captain, one of the best, made a mistake and is paying a heavy price for it."
“What I see, I continually see in this job and see in the society we live in – it’s brutal. You learn your lessons, but we live in an unforgiving society. And that’s a shame.” With Paine being 37, there are many in the cricketing world who consider his cricketing career is all but over.