Australian captain Tim Paine has stepped down from his role as captain of the Kangaroos after his sexually explicit messages to a female co-worker surfaced.
Paine took the decision after being investigated by governing body Cricket Australia for sending lewd text messages to a female co-worker.
“I’m announcing my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian men’s test team,” Paine told a media conference in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart.
“It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket.
“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,” he said.
Paine told media he had spoken to his wife and family. The Australian cricketer said he was “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.
“However, I recently became aware that this private text exchange was going to become public. On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community. I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused to my wife, my family, and to the other party. I’m sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport,” he added.