Days after stepping down as Australia's Test captain, Tim Paine admitted that he was certain that the explicit messages exchanged between him and a co-worker in the past would be public. Calling the exchanges to be "consensual", the wicketkeeper-batter further stated that he had no idea that this would become an issue.
Paine, who stepped down from the captaincy position just weeks before the upcoming Ashes series, however, is part of the Australian squad.
"I thought the issue was dealt with, but it always popped up around a big series, or at the start of the cricket season. Over the last three years, there have been numerous times where media agencies have put to us that they had evidence, yet they never chose to write it. But I knew it was going to come out at some point, as much as I didn't want it to," the Australian cricketer was quoted as saying in a report by Sportskeeda.
"Because it was a consensual exchange of messages months beforehand, I didn't think it was anything to consider. I never thought for a moment that it would become an issue. I was just excited and honoured to be asked," he further said.
Paine was given a clean chit by Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket Tasmania in 2018 and was also made the Test captain after Steve Smith was suspended for his role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in the same year.
Under the wicket-keeper's captaincy, Australia managed to retain the Ashes in 2019 but conceded consecutive Test series defeats against India at home.
Meanwhile, the Australian cricket board are yet to appoint a new captain but as per various media reports pacer Pat Cummins is set to takeover the leadership role.