Former Australia Test skipper Tim Paine will miss the start of the upcoming five-match Ashes series after opting for an indefinite leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future.
Paine’s decision comes just after a week he announced to step down as captain of the Australia Test team following a sexting scandal.
The 36-year-old Paine was all set to feature for Tasmania in the One-Day Cup match before joining the Australia Test squad in Brisbane for the Ashes however, he opted to pull out from the match.
“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. Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer,” Cricket Tasmania said in a statement on Friday.
“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,” it added.
On the other hand, Paine’s manager, James Henderson, said he was “extremely concerned” for the wellbeing of Paine and his family after the sexting scandal came to light.
“Confirming that (Paine) is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break. We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie’s well-being and will be making no further comment at this time,” Henderson wrote on Twitter.
Last week, Paine had said that he had planned to retire from Test cricket after a successful Ashes series this summer however, no firm decision has been made on when he will return to field.
Earlier in the day, fast bowler Pat Cummins was appointed as the 47th captain of Australia Test team.
Cummins comes replacing Paine and becomes the only second specialist pacer in Australia’s cricket history to take the captaincy after Ray Lindwall, who had led for one Test against India in the mid-1950s.
Commenting on his appointment, Cummins, the world’s No.1 ranked Test bowler, said it was an “unexpected” honour. “I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer. I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years. With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly knit group,” Cummins said in a statement.
“This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to,” he added.
Cummins was appointed following an interview process with a five-person selection panel and ratification from the full board of CA.