Tim Paine, the Australian Test captain, has resigned due to a texting incident with a female colleague

Tim Paine suddenly resigned as Australia’s Test cricket captain on Friday, citing an explicit “private text interaction” with a female colleague – a stunning declaration only weeks before the Ashes series against archrivals England starts.

Paine wept as he announced his retirement from one of the most prominent positions in international cricket and Australian public life.

“Nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague,” Paine, now 36, said, referring to a series of allegedly sexually graphic exchanges with a female co-worker that is only now becoming public.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Paine’s exit leaves Australia without a captain who has been lauded for reshaping the team’s culture since his appointment in 2018.

Paine emphasized that despite resigning from a post he “loved” and characterized as the “great privilege” of his life, he intends to play in the forthcoming series against England.

“I will remain a committed member of the Australian cricket team and look forward with anticipation to what is a huge Ashes tour,” he said.

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