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Why spectre of Tim is still causing Aussie cricket Paine



Paine was a popular player and is widely liked in Australian cricket, but the game has moved on with barely a mention of him since.The team has won the Ashes 3-0 with Pat Cummins captain for two Tests and Steve Smith stepping in as skipper when the bowler was ruled out of the Adelaide game because of Covid concerns.Alex Carey has slipped into Paine’s old job behind the stumps and fared well in the early outings.Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.The former captain has not been seen since mid-November and there are concerns for his wellbeing with the fifth Test scheduled for Hobart.It was assumed Paine would have stood down after the Ashes and there could have been no more fitting farewell than playing at his home ground.The 37-year-old, who had a popular radio program in Hobart during the winter, had never played a Test in his own backyard.The captain stood down after an old sexting scandal was made public despite the fact he had been investigated and cleared by cricket’s integrity unit at the time.His former teammates were disappointed at comments from acting board chair Richard Freudenstein which they felt further humiliated Paine.One cricket figure told The Australian there was real unhappiness.Cricket: Under fire ex-Australian test captain Tim Paine will take an indefinite break from the game, according to an announcement from Cricket Tasmania.“Players were made to feel they were completely disposable,” the source said. “This is a serious issue for them, they have no confidence and they feel they have nobody they can trust to talk to, they don’t feel there is anybody to support them.”Earlier this week Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Todd Greenberg told Gerard Whateley on SEN that there was dissatisfaction over the handling of the situation and he has made that clear to Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley.“The players feel it could have been handled differently and they feel like the governing body didn’t have their back at that particular time, we are creating trust between the playing body and the governing authority but we took some steps backward in that particular scenario, being completely brutally honest,” Greenberg said.“We made it very clear to Cricket Australia, we thought there’s a different way that could have been handled. We are not always going to agree, despite the fact Nick and I and Cricket Australia are developing better relationships and paths with them, it doesn’t mean we agree on every issue, healthy disagreements.”Paine stepped away from cricket and asked for privacy as he and his family dealt with the situation.“He’s going OK is how I’d describe Tim, he’s terribly disappointed he’s not playing cricket and I’m disappointed he is not playing cricket too but we are keeping in close contact and we’ll help him through it,” Greenberg said.Paine’s agent James Henderson asked for the player to be given some privacy after he made the decision to resign.“Confirming that Tim Paine is stepping away for an indefinite mental health break,” he said at the time. “We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie’s wellbeing and will be making no further comment at this time.”Paine and his wife have been stalked by paparazzi in Hobart and the images of them and the two young children were sold to a publication.Players feel for Paine who took over the job and help resurrect the team’s image after the disaster at Cape Town, he was also integral in the reintegration of Smith and David Warner to the group following the sandpaper scandal.The Ashes: Australia has retained the Ashes after putting on a bowling clinic on Day 3 of the third test, bowling out the English for just 68 runs.Paine, then vice-captain Cummins and ODI skipper Aaron Finch worked during the winter on a new set of team values which they presented at a players camp.The players believe cricket left Paine no option but to resign and the ACA made that clear in its initial reaction to his decision.“While respecting the decision made by Tim Paine, the ACA is saddened that he felt the need to resign from the captaincy of the Australian Test team,” the player’s body said in a statement.“While regrettable, this was an historical mistake that was a private matter between consenting individuals. Tim fully co-operated in an integrity investigation by Cricket Australia in 2018 in which he was exonerated.”Paine left cricket saying he needed to work things out with his family and he did not want to be a distraction to the team,“I am sorry for any damage this does to the reputation of our sport and I believe it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately, as I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption for the team ahead of the Ashes,” he said. “I have loved the role as captain and it has been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian cricket team. I am grateful for the support of my teammates, and proud of what we have achieved together. To them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness.”

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