Tim Paine has revealed that Justin Langer tried to convince him to remain as captain, despite news of the wicketkeepers’ lewd texting scandal on the way.
Paine revealed Langers’ reaction to his resignation on Friday as one of many dramatic claims in an explosive tell-all interview with his wife Bonnie.
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Paine resigned after revelations he sent sexually charged texts to a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in November 2017. He was found not to have violated Cricket Australia’s code of conduct. Cricket Tasmania’s human resources department also found that Paine had not broken any workplace rules, and described the exchange as consensual.
Paine resigned of his own free will, but Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Richard Freudenstein released a statement Friday to indicate that CA did not condone Paine’s conduct.
CA took no action against Paine after the investigations, and also took no action against Paine in 2019 when Freudenstein was first elected to his position and was informed of Paine’s sexting scandal.
It has now become clear that Langer even wanted Paine to remain in his position, despite the scandal that was about to break.
It’s one of several dramatic revelations in the interview, including:
Bonnie thinks it’s unfair that the family has had to come to terms with the situation again in public years after claiming to have made peace.
Paine says he hadn’t fully appreciated his marriage leading up to the sexting exchange.
He says the texting conversation with the Cricket Tasmania employee was a normal professional event, with them discussing cricket issues before an open text message led to the conversation becoming flirtatious.
He says the lewd texts were only sent over an 18-hour period and never happened again.
He says he told Bonnie about the situation in May 2018, after a Cricket Tasmania official first told him a complaint had been lodged.
Paine may end his testing career at the end of the 2021-2022 Ashes series, saying a victorious series against England this summer would be a dream road to end his career; and
Bonnie was dealing with her father’s death around the same time her husband told her about the text exchange. She also cared for daughter Milla, who was one year old at the time and pregnant with their second child Charlie, who is now two years old.
But perhaps the most stunning revelation in the interview is a claim that Langer and a host of others wanted Paine to lead the team this summer.
Paine insisted it was his decision to step down and he was not pushed.
It was hard, but I know it’s the right thing to do, he said.
I feel completely upset, but it’s all my fault, and I know that quitting is the right decision.
JL (Justin Langer) told me he is devastated.
He was quite adamant that he wanted me to continue as captain, and again, once I explained to him the reasons why I thought resigning was the best thing to do, he was with me the whole time.
I’ve been getting messages from all my teammates that they’re behind me and that we all make mistakes, and we’re moving forward, he added, insisting that none of them had any prior knowledge of the incident.
He says he is still ill about the impact of the incident on his family.
When asked why he took the SMS exchange to a flirtatious level, he replied: Maybe it’s as simple as stupidity? Or an inflated ego? Whether you feel needed or wanted, be flattering.
Or that it was dangerous or risky? I don’t know, I’m not sure. But I know I wish I hadn’t, and it will be a lifetime of regret that I did.
He denied any physical relationship with the woman.
Paine admitted he was always afraid the media would break the story and it had been a stressful time reliving the incident after he and his wife Bonnie resolved their issues.
I feel terrible, to be honest. Even though Bonnie and I have known all this for three years, it’s really disturbing and unsettling to play it out like this, and I’m really embarrassed.
I feel sick for Bonnie, and more than anything for my family.
Bonnie was also candid about her decision to forgive her husband, although she admitted it was horrific when they worked on the matter three years ago.
I have a little sympathy for Tim. A lot actually. He and I went through all this privately in 2018, she said.
I feel a little frustrated that it was all brought up and aired publicly when we put it to bed years ago. Since then I have progressed. I feel like there’s a lot of injustice that it’s being dragged out again.
Bonnie said I was shocked when I heard about the sexting scandal and added, I’m not claiming I’m perfect, but I was still completely upset.
Bonnie also stressed the need to forgive in marriages and said she found it extremely difficult to watch Paine’s emotional press conference on Friday.
It broke my heart to be honest, Bonnie said. It’s sad that he felt he should resign as captain, and I think that’s just unfair. I felt sorry for him.
I was pissed for a long time after it happened! At that time, my grief for my father was stronger than being angry with Tim. I learned that I could forgive someone. I never thought I was strong enough to forgive someone, get past them, and stay with them. I have learned the skill of forgiveness, which is very difficult.
My confidence was a bit damaged by it and learning to try and trust again was a process. I had my doubts, and there were times when I wanted to leave, and there were times when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. It was very confusing. It took a long time for us to be strong again and to be in a good place, but now we are here.
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