Cricket Tasmania (CT) is seething over the treatment meted out to Australian wicketkeeper-batter Tim Paine, who voluntarily relinquished Test captaincy recently following an off-field scandal, where he sent text messages to a former CT staffer in 2017.
Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin released a statement on Tuesday saying the former Test captain should never have been put in a situation which saw him quit as skipper ahead of the Ashes, beginning in Brisbane on December 8.
“In conversations I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger amongst the Tasmanian cricket community and general public is palpable,” Gaggin said on Tuesday.
“Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town.”
Paine was made Test captain to salvage the Australian cricket team’s reputation following the ball-tampering episode — also called Sandpaper-gate scandal — in the Cape Town Test in 2018. Three Australia players — the-then skipper Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft — were banned in the wake of the scandal.
“Yet, at at a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable. The treatment afford to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago,” said Gaggin.
“The Cricket Tasmania board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident the was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the Code of Conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated.”
Paine is currently playing in a Tasmania Second XI match, and was dismissed for one run on Tuesday after taking six catches behind the stumps on the opening day of the contest against South Australia at the Lindisfarne Oval in Hobart.