Australia’s players back wicketkeeper Tim Paine for the Ashes after resignation as captain


Tim Paine’s resignation as captain was a shock to Australia’s Test cricketers but his team-mates are behind him to continue as wicketkeeper for the Ashes, says batsman Marcus Harris.

Paine stepped down on Friday over a historical investigation into sexually explicit texts to a female colleague.

The 36-year-old had been captain of the Australia Test team since 2018.

“People were obviously a bit shocked but we’ve got a lot of good leaders around our group,” said Harris.

“It’s not ideal but someone’s going to have to step up and lead from the front.

“Painey will still be around and can still show leadership in many different ways but we’re looking forward to getting into camp and getting on with it.”

According to Harris the players were made aware of Paine’s decision half an hour before he went public.

The messages sent by Paine to a female Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017 came to light as part of a misconduct investigation.

Cricket Tasmania have criticised Cricket Australia’s treatment of Paine as the “worst of an Australia Test captain in 50 years” after they initially cleared him of wrongdoing when allegations were made in 2018.

Paine has been named in Australia’s squad for the Ashes against England, which begins on 8 December.

“I think you’d probably still argue that he’s still the best gloveman in the country,” said Harris.

“I know he’s got all the support of the players and like I said, all that other stuff is up to people above me.”

Day two of England’s intra-squad tour match in Brisbane was abandoned before play could start on Wednesday because of rain, further hampering their preparations after only 29 overs were possible on Tuesday.

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