Tim Paine inquiry decision sent wrong message – Cricket Australia

Cricket Australia should have handled the investigation into sexually explicit texts sent by Tim Paine to a female colleague differently, says its chief executive Richard Freudenstein.

Paine, 36, said he was “exonerated” in 2018 over messages sent to a Cricket Tasmania female colleague in 2017.

He was appointed Australia captain earlier in 2018 but resigned on Friday over the controversy.

“I can’t talk about the 2018 decision, I wasn’t there,” said Freudenstein.

“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.

“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.

“I acknowledge that the decision clearly sent the wrong message to the sport, to the community and to Tim – that this kind of behaviour is acceptable and without serious consequences.

“The role of Australia captain must be held to the highest standards.”

Details of the investigation, revealed as Paine stood down as captain at a press conference on Friday, were not made public at the time.

Paine was appointed Australia captain in 2018 following Steve Smith’s ban over a ball-tampering scandal.

He has stepped down prior to the Ashes series against England starting on 8 December but the wicketkeeper-batter will remain available for selection.

Pace bowler Pat Cummins could take over as captain but Freudenstein, who joined the CA board in 2019, did not rule out Smith being re-appointed to the role.

“We put in place a process for finding a new captain that was going to take place over the summer in anticipation that Tim would one day retire,” he said.

“We are obviously accelerating that process … and will come to a conclusion to that in plenty of time before the Ashes.”

He added: “There is going to be a very thorough, and now quite quick, process and we will look at a range of criteria.

“There are a range of candidates available for that role. Steve Smith is one of the candidates that is available for that role.”

BBC News

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