Australia Test wicket-keeper Tim Paine has taken a leave of absence from “all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future” in the aftermath of the lewd picture scandal that saw him step down from captaincy.
Cricket Tasmania, who Paine plays for domestically, released the following statement on Friday:
“Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future.
Tim’s decision makes him unavailable for selection for today’s Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia. His place in the squad will be taken by Charlie Wakim.
Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer.”
With the Ashes to begin on 8 December, Australia will almost certainly need a new wicket-keeper in his place, with Alex Carey and Josh Inglis the frontrunners to debut.
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Last week Paine resigned as Australia's Men's Test captain after a historic investigation into allegations of misconduct in 2017 resurfaced. Paine was cleared of any wrongdoing at the time but chose to step down as captain as, in his words, he did not want to "become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes series."
At that stage he remained available for national selection pending fitness, with the 36-year-old returning from neck surgery on a bulging disc.
He returned to playing duties for Tasmania's second XI during the week and was set to play a one-dayer for Tasmania on Friday before his late withdrawal.
"We recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for Tim and his family and are committed to supporting them," Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley said. "We respect and understand Tim’s decision to have a break at this time to focus on his and his family’s well-being.
“The National Selection Panel will meet in the coming days to discuss the final squad ahead of the first Ashes Test on December 8.”
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