Former Australia captain Kim Hughes has slammed Cricket Australia (CA) for making wicketkeeper-batter Tim Paine the Test skipper despite knowing about the off-field investigation he was in. He also felt that it was staggering that CA appointed Paine as captain in 2018 despite knowing about the texting saga.
On Friday, Paine sensationally stepped down from being the Test skipper as his controversial chats with a one-time Cricket Tasmania female employee from 2017 were made public. In a hastily-arranged press conference at Hobart, a sobbing Paine announced the decision but insisted on playing in the upcoming Ashes series.
“(Paine) did what he had to do (by resigning) but what I find staggering is that Cricket Australia reviewed the situation and did nothing. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept,” Hughes told Five AA radio in Adelaide.
“Integrity? You’ve got to be kidding me. For God’s sake. You found that out and then said ‘well that’s still acceptable’ and to appoint him captain? Give me a break! It’s absolutely staggering,” added Hughes, who served as Australia skipper between 1979 and 1984.
Earlier in the day, Australia batter Travis Head, selected in the squad for the first two Tests of the Ashes, insisted that the team will know more about his resignation in the next 24-48 hours. “It’s a tough one at the moment to go into any of that becau’e I don’t know the ins and outs, I haven’t spoken to Tim or the boys, I guess over the next 24-48 hours we’ll know more about it. I think the group’s in a great space, a lot like the (World Cup-winning) T20 group, this group’s played a lot of series together, we’re in a great space, everyone gets along really well, so what will be over the next 24-to-48 hours will be and we’ll move on,” Head was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
“It’s hard to comment on what’s going on at the moment, but as a whole, with the culture and where the team is at, what you see with the T20 squad I think is very similar to the Test squad, so I think Australian cricket as a whole with the guys we’ve got in, we’ve got good people and we’re fully behind everyone,” added Head.
It is yet to be known who will be Australia’s next Test captain with vice-captain Pat Cummins the front-runner apart from Paine’s predecessor Steve Smith having an outside chance.