Tag Archives: Ashes

ECB likely to limit England cricketers’ involvement in IPL following Ashes failure

England’s recent flop show in the ongoing Ashes series would witness some stringent repercussions for England players featuring in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is reportedly looking to restrict their involvement in the lucrative tournament from the upcoming season.

For the previous season of the IPL, which was conducted in two-phases due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several England cricketers like Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali, and all-rounders Sam Curran and Chris Woakes were rested for the national sides’s two-Test series against New Zealand because of their involvement in lucrative league and the Three Lions later lost the series to the Blackcaps 0-1 in 2021.

Now after the current Ashes debacle, a report in The Mirror has Times on Wednesday and said that the English cricket board is conducting a thorough review of the series loss and the ECB’s managing director Ashley Giles is preparing a list of recommendations to improve the “Test team’s fortunes”.

In the ongoing five-match Ashes series, England are 0-3 down against Australia. The tourists lost the Brisbane, Adelaide and MCG Tests by nine wickets, 275 runs and an innings and 14 runs respectively and was also on the verge of another defeat in the fourth affair at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) before the last-wicket pair of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad miraculously managed to draw it for England.

England will now aim to salvage pride in the fifth and final Test of the Ashes series at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart from January 14.

As per the report, the ECB was planning to restricting the cricketers’ involvement in the IPL to “just the first few weeks” as it was well aware that the upcoming season of the league will now be of longer duration following the addition of two more teams – Ahemdabad and Lucknow.

Meanwhile, the 2022 season of the IPL will likely clash with England’s Test summer as the knockout stages would overlap with England’s first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s in early June.

With the addition of new teams in IPL, more England Test cricketers are expected to be going under hammer and be a part of the lucrative league apart from Buttler and Moeen, who have already been retained by Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ahead of the IPL mega auction.

The report also said that England players, who will be signed in the mega auction, will be asked to “cut short their time in the league so that they can play some first-class cricket before the New Zealand series begins”.

Earlier, former England skipper Michael Atherton ahd also slammed the ECB for allowing its players to play in the IPL at the expense of national duty.

“The leading multi-format players are paid seven-figure sums, but, incredibly, the ECB washes its hands of them for two months of the year during the Indian Premier League,” he had written in the Times.

“The players should be told that, while the ECB will be accommodating of the request to play in IPL, a 12-month contract is exactly that, and the granting of a no-objection certificate to play in IPL and other franchised competitions is contingent on it being in the best interests of the England team. Players should not miss international duty to play in the IPL, nor be rested and rotated to allow them to play elsewhere,” added he.

Cricket Australia CEO tests positive for Covid-19

Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Hockley had returned positive for Covid-19 and clarified that he “has had no direct contact with the Test players”.

Issuing a statement, the CA said that Hockley, who is fully vaccinated, had developed mild symptoms and a PCR test revealed he was positive for the virus.

“Hockley developed mild symptoms and immediately got tested and isolated, with a positive result now confirmed. He has had no direct contact with the Australian Men’s Test squad, or other teams, in accordance with Cricket Australia’s biosecurity protocols. Fully vaccinated, Hockley is isolating at home with his family and will continue to follow the NSW (New South Wales) Government guidelines and quarantine protocols,” the CA statement said.

On the other hand, Hockley said he was in good health and was recovering well.

“After experiencing mild symptoms, I immediately got a PCR test which has since returned a positive result. I am isolating at home with my family, who have returned negative results,” Hockley was quoted as saying by sen.com.au.

“Over recent days, we have seen cases in relation to the Australian men’s Ashes team and some of the BBL (Big Bash League) teams. It is a reminder of the complexity COVID-19 presents for major sporting events and the importance of being vaccinated, getting a booster as soon as possible, and getting tested as soon as symptoms present themselves.”

Recently, Hockley had said that despite Covid-19 cases being detected in the England and Australia Test camp, the fourth Ashes Test, scheduled at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 5, will be “safe”.

“We’ve got very robust COVID-safe plans that are led by the venues working closely with the health authorities,” Hockley had said.

Earlier after the end of the second Ashes Test between hosts Australia and England, Hockley had confirmed that heightened levels of protocols will be implemented during the ongoing series from the Boxing Day Test onwards.

Hockley had said that the level had been raised from three to four due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Australia.

Notably, newly-appointed Australia captain Pat Cummins was forced to miss the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval after the pacer had come in close contact with a Covid-positive person while dining out in his country.

“So (for Boxing Day), we’ll be going up from our protocol level 3 to Level 4,” Hockley was quoted as saying by SEN Breakfast on Tuesday.

“We’ve had different levels of protocols depending on the risk environment… even before the Pat (Cummins) situation, Melbourne and Sydney were higher on the risk level than Brisbane and Adelaide and that was due to the number of cases in the community,” said Hockley.

“Really the main difference (between Level 3 and 4) is that we ask players to avoid big crowded indoor public settings. They can still go out, still go to the beach, still go to the park. They can still go out for dinner, but we ask them to dine outside and in small groups so if there is another hotspot, the whole group is not caught up. So we’re trying to strike that balance between making sure everyone has a great quality of life but also we’re able to keep the series going,” added Hockley.

ICC should come down heavily on slow over rates: Nick Hockley

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley wants a “firm stance” on the issue of slow over rates in the ongoing five-Test Ashes series and said that such issues was coming in the way of entertaining cricket for the fans and the paying public.

Notably, the touring England team were fined heavily after their nine-wicket loss in the opening Ashes Test at The Gabba for not bowling enough overs, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee David Boon docking English player 100 per cent of their match fee after the tourists fell five overs short of the number of overs they were supposed to bowl during the Test.

Meanwhile, the ENgland team, led by Joe Root, was also docked five ICC World Test Championship (WTC) points.

Although the touring side improved their over rates in the second Test at the Adelaide Oval, Hockley said that he favoured the ICC doing everything it can to ensure teams bowl their full quota of overs every day of a Test match.

“The penalties are pretty harsh and that should be a really strong disincentive,” Hockley said on Sportsday on Friday.

“The fact it happened in the first Test match was a really big reminder and we saw in the second Test that the two teams were right on top of their over rates. I’m all in favour of the ICC taking a really firm stance and ultimately we want to provide as much entertaining cricket for the fans as possible. I’d like to see both teams and all teams around the world (speed things up), the same goes for the Big Bash (League) so we make sure we get through the overs,” he added.

After the first Test, the Root-led England side also went down in the second affair by 275 runs as a result of which hosts Australia currently lead the five-match series 2-0.

The hosts will now be looking to clinch the Ashes series when the third Test gets underway at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on December 26.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hockley had confirmed that heightened levels of protocols will be implemented during the ongoing Ashes series between the hosts and England from the Boxing Day Test onwards.

Hockley said that the level had been raised from three to four due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Australia.

Notably, newly-appointed Australia captain Pat Cummins was forced to miss the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval after the pacer had come in close contact with a Covid-positive person while dining out in his country.

“So (for Boxing Day), we’ll be going up from our protocol level 3 to Level 4,” Hockley was quoted as saying by SEN Breakfast.

“We’ve had different levels of protocols depending on the risk environment… even before the Pat (Cummins) situation, Melbourne and Sydney were higher on the risk level than Brisbane and Adelaide and that was due to the number of cases in the community,” Hockley had added.

“Really the main difference (between Level 3 and 4) is that we ask players to avoid big crowded indoor public settings. They can still go out, still go to the beach, still go to the park. They can still go out for dinner, but we ask them to dine outside and in small groups so if there is another hotspot, the whole group is not caught up. So we’re trying to strike that balance between making sure everyone has a great quality of life but also we’re able to keep the series going,” added Hockley.

Ashes 2021-22: Heightened levels of Covid-19 protocols from Boxing Day Test onwards

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley on Tuesday confirmed the heightened levels of protocols will be implemented during the ongoing Ashes series between the hosts and England from the Boxing Day Test onwards.

Hockley said that the level had been raised from three to four due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Australia.

Notably, newly-appointed Australia captain Pat Cummins was forced to miss the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval after the pacer had come in close contact with a Covid-positive person while dining out in his country.

“So (for Boxing Day), we’ll be going up from our protocol level 3 to Level 4,” Hockley was quoted as saying by SEN Breakfast on Tuesday.

While the upcoming third Test is scheduled to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the remaining fourth and fifth games of the Ashes series will be staged at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and Hobart, respectively.

Notably, the COVID-19 situation is evolving differently across different states of Australia.

The opening Ashes Test was played in Brisbane (Queensland) with the state being free of the virus at that time before it moved to Adelaide (South Australia), where too there was absence of Covid-19.

However, the current situation in Victoria and New South Wales is not the same as these two states have witnessed thousands of Covid-19 cases daily in the recent times due to which the protocol level has been raised.

“We’ve had different levels of protocols depending on the risk environment… even before the Pat (Cummins) situation, Melbourne and Sydney were higher on the risk level than Brisbane and Adelaide and that was due to the number of cases in the community,” said Hockley.

“Really the main difference (between Level 3 and 4) is that we ask players to avoid big crowded indoor public settings. They can still go out, still go to the beach, still go to the park. They can still go out for dinner, but we ask them to dine outside and in small groups so if there is another hotspot, the whole group is not caught up. So we’re trying to strike that balance between making sure everyone has a great quality of life but also we’re able to keep the series going,” added Hockley.

After missing the second Test, Cummins has returned to the squad and is all set to lead the home side in the third Test at the MCG after he has regularly tested COVID-negative. In his absence, Steve Smith took the charge of the captaincy.

Hosts Australia currently lead the five-match Ashes series 2-0 after winning the first two Tests by nine wickets and 275 runs respectively.

James Anderson to miss Ashes opener in Brisbane

James Anderson will miss the opening Ashes Test against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane as the England team management is looking to manage the workload of the 39-year-old pacer.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also confirmed the development and said the plans is to get Anderson ready for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide, which will be the second Test of the series.

“Jimmy is fit to play, and is not carrying an injury. With five Tests in six weeks the plan was to get him ready for the second Test in Adelaide,” an ECB statement said.

As per reports, the call to rest Anderson has been taken with the view of not risking him considering the limited build-up the teams have had in the lead-up to the fixture as in the 2019 Ashes, Anderson ended up bowling only four overs in the first Test at Edgbaston before a calf problem ruled him out of the entire series.

“With the limited build-up we have had so far on the tour, both him and the management didn’t want to take the risk of him playing after what had happened in 2019 at Edgbaston, when he broke down on the first morning,” the statement added.

“He bowled at full capavity yesterday for just short of an hour and was in a good place physically. He will do the same again today at practice. He will stay with the Test group this week and work with the coaches at the Gabba rather than playing for the Lions,” it further said.

Meanwhile, Jos Buttler too, confirmed the development. “Jimmy is not going to play but he is fit,” Buttler told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.

“He was bowling again today … had a few spells in the truncated match. (It’s) just a precautionary measure with an incredibly long series ahead,” he added.

When asked whether Anderson was always going to be rested, Buttler said: “All I’ve seen is Jimmy has been bowling and bowling well… He looks good to me but sorry I can’t answer that question.”

Buttler said that pacer Stuart Broad and all-rounder Ben Stokes were both fit and available for selection. “Ben is fit to play. He’s been performing very nicely in the nets. It’s a massive plus for us as a side,” said Buttler.

Notably, Anderson has scalped 60 wickets, averaging 35.43, in Australia and had played a significant role in the Three Lion’s last series win in Australia in 2010-11 when he had scalped 24 wickets.

Men’s Ashes

Squads

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Schedule

First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba

Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval

Third Test: December 26-30, MCG

Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth Test: January 14-18, TBD

Perth stripped of hosting rights for fifth Ashes Test

Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday confirmed that the fifth and final Ashes Test won’t be staged in Perth as originally scheduled due to Western Australia’s stringent Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The CA also said that no final call has been taken as to where the fifth Test will be played now and will be finalised in the coming days.

In a statement, Nick Hockley, CEO of CA said: “While every effort was made the ensure the fifth Vodafone #Ashes Test match could be staged in Perth, it is unfortunately not possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, CA and WA Cricket. We’ll provide an update on the replacement venue in due course.”

“We are particularly disappointed for Western Australian cricket fans who were so looking forward to seeing the first ever Ashes Test at the new stadium,” he added.

Hockley further said that CA would look to stage some BigBash League (BBL) games in Perth along with an ODI against New Zealand.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the WA Government, Perth Stadium and WA Cricket to hold upcoming BBL matches and the Dettol ODI v New Zealand in Perth and thank them for their continued support,” he added.

Notably, the decision comes after Western Australia (WA) Premier Mark McGowan had last week said that tough border restrictions would remain in place due to the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant and the players will have to quarantine for 14 days to be able to play the match.

Meanwhile, McGowan had also banned wives and girlfriends of the cricketers from attending the fifth Test at the Optus Stadium.

“We have put in place very strict rules. So we’ve said to them, ‘you need to have 14 days’ quarantine’. And that has to apply to all the broadcast staff, the cricket staff. They can’t just bring wives and girlfriends with them — same rules as we put in place for the AFL (Australian Football League). It’s up to them whether they want to adhere to those rules or not,” McGowan had said.

Later, WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews had said that the possibility of Perth hosting the fifth Test were 50-50 as McGowan had denied to open its borders with other states as he is aiming for atleast 90 per cent vaccination target.

Earlier in November, McGowan had said that he was “very confident” the Test match would be staged as per plan even if it would come just five days after the conclusion of the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Notably, McGowan was considering to wase the COVID-19 quarantine rules that players would have to adhere to given the Test match would be played just weeks before WA was due to throw open its borders however, the emergence of the new Omicron variant has now become a bone of contention.

Now, the CA might reportedly put the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on standby while the other option could be Canberra. Also, Victoria’s Sports Minister Martin Pakula had said that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) would gladly host a second Test as well if Cricket Australia (CA) agrees.

The five-match Test series will begin on December 8 in Brisbane.

Men’s Ashes

Schedule

First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba

Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval

Third Test: December 26-30, MCG

Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth Test: January 14-18, TBD

Alex Carey replaces Tim Paine as Aussie wicketkeeper for Ashes

Alex Carey will make his Test debut in the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane as the 30-year-old has been named as the wicketkeeper for the contest by Cricket Australia (CA).

Carey will now become the 461st player to represent Australia’s men’s Test cricket.

Carey was inducted in the squad as a wicketkeeper after Paine resigned as Australia Test captain and had decided to take an indefinite break from the game left just few days before the much-awaited Ashes series. On the other hand, Pat Cummins was appointed as Test captain with Steve Smith named his deputy.

Commenting on the development, an elated Carey said: “I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity. It’s an exciting build-up for what is a huge series ahead.”

“My focus is on preparing and playing my part in helping Australia secure the Ashes. This is also for my dad who has been my coach, mentor and mate, my mum, my wife Eloise, kids Louis and Clementine, my brother and sister and all of those who have supported me. I will be doing my absolute best to make them and our country proud,” he added.

Speaking about Carey’s inclusion in the squad, George Bailey, chairman of the selection panel, said: “Alex has been a regular member of the national side in white ball cricket, particularly in the one-day game. He is an excellent cricketer and a fine individual who will bring many great strengths into the team.”

Last week, Paine had opted for an indefinite leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future. His decision came just after a week he had announced to step down as captain of the Australia Test team following a sexting scandal.

On November 19, Paine had announced to step down from his post as the skipper of Australia Test team. Paine’s decision cames in the wake of an off-field scandal, where he had sent explicit text mesages to a female co-worker at Cricket Tasmania in 2017.

in a press conference in Hobart on Friday.

“Today, I’m announced my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian men’s test team. It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,” Paine read out from a statement at the presser.

“As a background on my decision, nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague. At the time, the exchange was the subject of a thorough CA Integrity Unit investigation, throughout which I fully participated in and openly participated in. That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR investigation at the same time found that there had been no breach of the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct. Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today. I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support. We thought this incident was behind us and that I could focus entirely on the team, as I have done for the last three or four years,” he added.

The first Test of the five-match rubber between hosts Australia and England will begin on December 8 at The Gabba in Brisbane.

MCG keen to host fifth Ashes Test due to potential monetary windfall

With Perth most likley to be unable to host the fifth and final Test of the upcoming Ashes series due to tough Covid-19 restrictions in Western Australia (WA), Victoria’s Sports Minister Martin Pakula has said that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) would gladly host a second Test as well if Cricket Australia (CA) agrees.

Notably, WA Premier Mark McGowan had said that tough border restrictions would remain in place due to the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant and the players will have to quarantine for 14 days to be able to play the match.

Meanwhile, McGowan had also banned wives and girlfriends of the cricketers from attending the fifth Test at the Optus Stadium due to which Perth is unlikley to host the fifth Test.

On the other hand, the MCG, which will host the Boxing Day Test (Third Test) from December 26, is now keen to host the fifth Test because of the potential monetary windfall which will come by hosting one of the oldest and greatest rivalry in cricket.

“The Victorian government has certainly made it clear to Cricket Australia that if the Perth Test is unable to go ahead that we’d be not just prepared to host the fifth Test but very keen to host the fifth Test,” Pakula was quoted as saying by theage.com.au on Wednesday.

“I’ve spoken to Cricket Australia and they’ve got a decision to make, firstly about whether they go with Perth… and if they can’t get to Perth and it’s a commercial decision then I think the MCG’s claims are pretty close to undeniable. We will wait and see, but Cricket Australia is well aware of our interest,” he added.

As per reports, the MCG is the most likley option for the CA to host the fifth Test, which could be possibly a Day and Night affair and in such a scenario, it would result in a sporting bonanza for Melbourne, which will also stage the Australian Open from January 17.

Recently, WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews had said that the possibility of Perth hosting the fifth Test were 50-50 as McGowan had denied to open its borders with other states as he is aiming for atleast 90 per cent vaccination target.

The five-match Test series will begin on December 8 in Brisbane,

Men’s Ashes

Squads

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Schedule

First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba

Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval

Third Test: December 26-30, MCG

Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium

Sony Sports receive overwhelming response from advertisers for Ashes 2021

Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) has geared up to live broadcast the oldest and biggest rivalry in the history of cricket – The Ashes 2021 from December 8, 2021 and the network has received overwhelming response from the advertisers for the five-match series.

This December, cricket fans across India can get ready to witness the tale of the Greatest Sporting rivalry, in four languages for the first time in India. The highly anticipated series will be telecast LIVE on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels and livestreamed on its on-demand OTT platform SonyLIV.

The high-octane series has garnered great advertisers’ interest with brands like Byju’s, Policy Bazaar, Siggnature Elaichi, Bosch Appliances, Dafa News coming on-board while few other big names are also expected to join the bandwagon in the coming days.

Commenting on the upcoming series, Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head – Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India said: “The Ashes is the platinum standard of Test cricket and has raised the bar of Test cricket over the years. Sony Sports channels will broadcast the series in four languages for the first time, English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, so that cricket enthusiasts all over the country can enjoy the matches in their language of choice.”

“With a galaxy of superstars on both Test Teams, the much-anticipated series promises to be a tight-knit contest and has garnered a brilliant response from the advertisers as well,” he added.

To ensure the best of cricketing action reaches the masses and provide the viewers with an overall experience, SPSN will telecast the series in 4 languages for the first time in India.

The Hindi commentary panel will feature prominent names like Vivek Razdan, Saba Karim, Atish Thukral, Raman Bhanot, Snehal Pradhan and Reetinder Singh Sodhi. The Tamil commentary panel will have in presence former cricketers and legends Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Woorkeri Raman along with Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, T. Arasu, S. Seshadri, Arun Venugopal, Aarti Sankaran and Sunil Viswanthan while the Telugu commentary panel will feature Keerthi Viswanadha, Prem Sagar, Vijay Mahavadi, Sudheer Mahavadi, RJ Hemant, Venkatapathy Raju, C Venkatesh, Vijay Mahavadi and Sandeep Kumar.

The series which will commence December 8, in Brisbane, will witness yet another iconic clash between arch-rivals England and Australia. Currently, Australia is leading with 33 wins in the series while England has 32 wins so far.

The 72nd Ashes tour will determine if England can level the scores down under or will Australia continue to dominate the record, heating up the rivalry even more. While Joe Root lead English side is brimming with confidence after return of Ben Stokes and power-packed performances of James Anderson and Ollie Robinson against India this year, Australia’s squad consists of iconic players who have been the face of Ashes for years now.

The Pat Cummins led Australian side will be backed by the expertise of Vice-captain Steve Smith along with a strong bowling line-up which will surely come in handy for the hosts to maintain their lead in the series and retain the urn.

Former Australia skipper Tim Paine takes indefinite mental health break from cricket

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.