Cricket Australia (CA) says the organisation “sent the wrong message” with its management of the 2018 investigation into Tim Paine’s role in a sexting incident, admitting he should have been removed as men’s Test captain at the time.
- CA says it was a mistake not to speak publicly about the investigation in 2018
- Paine had been cleared by CA following the investigation
- He was due to play in a club match in Hobart on Saturday but it was called off because of rain
Paine announced on Friday he was stepping down from the role, having disclosed he was involved in a text-messaging exchange with a female former employee of Cricket Tasmania in late 2017.
He was cleared by CA following its investigation in 2018.
CA chair Richard Freudenstein, who was not with the organisation in 2018, spoke to the media on Saturday afternoon.
Freudenstein said if the current CA board had been in place three years ago it would not have endorsed Paine as men’s Test captain following the investigation.
He said CA should have also spoken publicly about the investigation at the time.
“Neither of us — (CA chief executive) Nick Hockley or myself — can speak directly to the decision-making process in 2018,” Freudenstein said.
“This includes being able to provide any further insights around how the original judgement was made, that Tim’s behaviour did not breach the code of conduct and that it did not warrant any further disciplinary action.
“Once again, 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.
Freudenstein said it was his understanding that CA staff had become aware of the investigation at “different stages”.
He said the current board was “up to speed with this issue last week”.
Freudenstein said he had been made aware of the investigation when he joined the CA board in 2019.
“I had a very brief conversation where I had been informed there had been an incident with Tim a few years earlier,” he said.
Hockley, who became CA chief executive last year, said he was aware there was an investigation conducted into Paine’s behaviour and the “matter had been closed”.
He said only learned more about the incident last week when CA was contacted by a media outlet.
“I received the investigation report on Wednesday evening last week and at that stage appraised myself of the full details,” Hockley said.
Freudenstein said Paine, who he described as being an “exceptional leader” during his tenure as Test captain, had agreed to step down after speaking to the CA board.
“When this issue came apparent again last week, a number of discussions were had with Tim and Tim came to the view that it was best for him, his family and Australian cricket to resign and we support that decision,” he said.
No comment from Paine
Paine was due to line up for University of Tasmania cricket club today against South Hobart Sandy Bay, but the match at Queenborough Oval was called off due to rain.
Paine was surrounded by media cameras as he left the ground after the match was called off. When asked how he was feeling, he said: “Not speaking today, sorry mate.”
Earlier in the day, Ben Harrison, University’s high performance manager, confirmed Paine was in the selected first grade side, and said he had spoken to the former Australian captain.
Asked how Paine was, he said: “[He’s] all fine, looking forward to playing today.
“History tells us every time Tim Paine’s available he plays for University, that’s his home and that’s the club that he loves to represent.”
Paine represented the team last year when they won the first grade final and the one-day final.
“He’s a massive part of our club,” Harrison said.