Tim Paine: Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein opens up about skipper’s resignation

Chris Robinson & Scott BaileyThe West Australian
Tim Paine departs Queenborough Oval in Hobart on Saturday.
Camera IconTim Paine departs Queenborough Oval in Hobart on Saturday. Credit: Ethan James/AAP

Tim Paine should not have remained as Test captain amid his sexting investigation in 2018, according to Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein.

Paine resigned on Friday after it emerged he sent lewd text messages to a female colleague, which were investigated by CA and Cricket Tasmania before he was cleared of breaching the sport’s code of conduct.

Fronting a press conference on Saturday, Freudenstein admitted it had been the wrong call to allow Paine to remain as skipper and not make the investigation result public when it was resolved.

“While I cannot speak about the original decision-making in 2018, what I can say is that faced with the same circumstances, and with the benefit of all relevant information about this matter, Cricket Australia would not make the same decisions today,” he said.

“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.”

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Freudenstein said it would be up to selectors on whether Paine would take to the field for the first Ashes Test, starting December 8, with the board “comfortable” with the wicketkeeper being available to be picked.

Cricket Australia is expected to confirm Paine’s successor as captain within the coming days, with vice-captain Pat Cummins considered the favourite to take on the role.

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Paine’s attempted cricket comeback after eight months on the sidelines was thwarted by rain at a club cricket fixture in Hobart earlier on Saturday.

Tim Paine
Camera IconPaine in Hobart on Saturday. Credit: AAP

The 36-year-old met with chairman of selectors George Bailey at Queenborough Oval while waiting out the rough weather.

Both Freudenstein and Nick Hockley insisted Paine’s fall did not undo the turnaround in cricket’s image since the ball-tampering scandal.

They also defended their own positions on the matter, adamant that action need not be taken earlier after they joined the board and executive.

In turn, the pair were also insistent that CA had taken steps forward, with greater education around social media and sexting implemented in the summer after Paine’s incident.

But there will now be a closer look at other integrity issues in the sport.

“Every issue is different. Every circumstance is different,” Freudenstein said.

“I’m very confident in the way integrity decisions are made and (with) the integrity unit.

“We will have a review back over the past few years. I’m sure that that will lead to no further changes.”

Officials had already planned on searching for Australia’s next captain this summer, with the expectation Paine would soon retire.

“I’m not going to make any comments about who is the likely (next captain),“ Freudenstein said.

“You can be sure that part of that process will be trying to make sure to the best we are able to that those (integrity) issues don’t exist.”

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