Australian Cricket captain Tim Paine has resigned from the top job following the uncovering of a lewd exchange he sent a former Cricket Tasmania employee.
The Tasmanian has held the top post since 2018 when he took over the captaincy from Steve Smith following the Cape Town saga that engulfed engulfed Australian Cricket.
Paine refused to take questions as he announced his decision and asked for forgiveness from his teammates.
"Today I am announcing my decision to step down as the captain of the Australian men's Test team, it is an extremely difficult decision," he said.
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Paine explained that the situation was found to not be a breach of the Cricket Australia code of conduct following investigations from CA and Cricket Tasmania at the time.
"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," he said.
"I am deeply sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused to my wife, my family and the other party."
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Paine confirmed he would remain as a player for the upcoming Ashes series.
"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.
"I do not want this to become a distraction to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes campaign.
"I have loved my role as captain of the Australian cricket team. It's been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian men's Test team."
Cricket Tasmania released a statement explaining their stance on the incident and subsequent findings from the HR investigation.
Cricket Tasmania Chairman, Andrew Gaggin, said there was no complaint raised at the time of the incident in November 2017, nor when the employee's position with the organisation was terminated.
"As soon as Cricket Tasmania was made aware, it undertook an investigation that determined the interaction was consensual, private, occurred on the one occasion only, was between mature adults and was not repeated," he said.
"Cricket Tasmania clearly does not condone this type of behaviour and addressed the matter directly with Tim Paine.
"However, because of the consensual nature of the actions it was determined that no further action was required or appropriate."
The allegations came to Cricket Tasmania after formal charges of theft were laid against the employee in question in mid 2018.
Mr Gaggin said criminal charges against the former employee were still pending and it was inappropriate to comment further given the matter was still before the courts.
Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein confirmed the board had accepted Paine's resignation ahead of the Ashes series getting underway next month.
"Tim felt it was in the best interests of his family and Australian cricket to take this decision to step down as captain," he said.
"The Board has accepted Tim's resignation and will now work through a process with the National Selection Panel of identifying and appointing a new captain."
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