Sports

Paine reveals Langer’s reaction and says he wants ‘ultimate high’ of playing in home Ashes win


Tim Paine, who quit the Australian captaincy on Friday in the wake of publication of historical lewd texts sent to a co-worker, has revealed national coach Justin Langer wanted him to continue in the job.

On Friday, a tearful Paine read a brief statement admitting his part in the text exhange from 2017, before he became Australian captain.

Cricket Australia cleared him of wrongdoing at the time and appointed him to help lead a review of the game’s culture after he replaced Steve Smith at the helm.

On Sunday the Herald Sun – the same paper that exposed the text exchange – published a joint interview with Tim and his wife, Bonnie.

Paine, who said he wants to continue to push for selection as a player for the Ashes says he never contemplated retiring from the game.

“Resign, or don’t resign – they were the alternatives I was tossing up,” said Paine.

Tim Paine (R) and wife Bonnie Paine arrive ahead of the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards at Crown Palladium on February 10, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Tim Paine and wife Bonnie Paine arrive ahead of the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards last year. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

“I wasn’t going to retire, I’d been pretty clear I wanted to keep playing, and potentially finish after this Ashes series. I see that as the ultimate high, to be able to finish your Test career after winning an Ashes series in Australia. That’s the dream. That’s what I want to do. To go and represent my country, well, and help win the Ashes.”

Paine said he wasn’t pushed to resign his post.

“It was mine and mine alone,” he said of the decision. “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 acknowledged no one at Cricket Australia tried to talk him out of the resignation but added: “I had plenty of people that I talked to, that I respect, who wanted me to stay in the role, and thought I should have, but for all the reasons we’ve talked about, I thought, no, I knew, it was the right thing to do by everyone.”

He said his teammates and Langer had been “unbelievably supportive.

“JL 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,” said Paine.

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

Paine said he thought none of his teammates knew about the incidemt.

“I only told a couple of people, but with most things where I have been wrong, or done the wrong thing, I’d just held it all to myself, and tried to fight my way through it all, which is actually bloody unhealthy. I’ve learnt that isn’t the best way to deal with these things,” he said.

However, he has been expecting details to emerge at some stage.

“Yeah, I did, absolutely. I thought the issue was dealt with, but it always popped up around a big series, or at the start of the cricket season,” said Paine.

“Over the last three years, there have been numerous times where media agencies have put to us that they had evidence, yet they never chose to write it. As to why, I’m not sure, but nobody else had chosen to write the story, but I knew it was going to come out at some point, as much as I didn’t want it to.”

He said he understood he was cleared by code of conduct enquiries because “it was two consenting adults exchanging private messages.”

Paine said the revelations ha made him “feel terrible, to be honest. Although Bonnie and I have both known about all this for three years, to have it played out like this is really distressing, and upsetting, and I’m really embarrassed.

“Really embarrassed. I feel sick for Bonnie, and for my family more than anything else.”

Paine said he told Bonnie about the incident when the investifgation was launched first by Cricket Tasmania in 2018.

She said she was shocked then, and believes it’s unfair that it has come to public light four years later.

“I have had my time of getting angry, and venting, and to get upset, and we fought and we talked, and then we both decided to move on with life, and do it together,” she said.

“I feel a bit frustrated that it’s all been brought up and aired in the public when we’d put it to bed years ago. I have moved forward since then. I feel like there is a lot of injustice for it being dragged out again.”

She thought the incident was behind them.

“We thought so. We had all dealt with it. Tim had dealt with the repercussions from Cricket Australia, being scrutinised and investigated, and then he had to tell me and deal with me being upset. Now, it seems unfair that it’s being aired out to everyone else to view and judge.”

At the time, she said, “I was shocked. I remember feeling angry because we had a little girl that wasn’t too old. At the same time, Tim and I had been in a long relationship, it’d been 10 years, and God knows we had had our ups and downs, and I don’t claim to be perfect, but I was still completely rocked.”





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