Tim Paine sexting scandal: Marcus Harris says squad shocked by Paine’s resignation, back him for Ashes

Tim Paine sexting scandal: Marcus Harris says squad shocked by Paine's resignation, back him for Ashes
Tim Paine sexting scandal: Marcus Harris says squad shocked by Paine's resignation, back him for Ashes

Tim Paine sexting scandal: Australia’s test cricketers were shocked to learn of Tim Paine’s resignation from the captaincy over a ‘sexting’ scandal but are fully behind him to continue as wicketkeeper for the Ashes, batsman Marcus Harris said.

Opener Marcus Harris said players only became aware of Paine’s decision half an hour before he went public last Friday to reveal he had been

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Tim Paine sexting scandal: investigated over lewd text messages sent to a female Cricket Tasmania staffer four years ago.

“People were obviously a bit shocked but we’ve got a lot of good leaders around our group,” Marcus Harris told reporters on Wednesday.

“So it’s not ideal but someone’s going to have to step up and lead from the front.
“Painey will still be around and can still show leadership in many different ways but we’re looking forward to getting into camp and getting on with it.”

Tim Paine sexting scandal: Paine, who has been playing a domestic match in Tasmania this week while other test players are on the Gold Coast, is the only specialist wicketkeeper in Australia’s 15-man Ashes squad.

However, selectors chairman George Bailey has confirmed he is no lock for the first test starting in Brisbane on Dec. 8 while he races to prove himself match-fit after neck surgery.

Harris said Paine was very popular among the playing group, had done a “really good job” under tough circumstances over the last few years and deserved to keep his place in the side.

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“I think you’d probably still argue that he’s still the best gloveman in the country and he still played a few important innings last summer against India,” he said.

“I know he’s got all the support of the players and like I said, all that other stuff is up to people above me.”

Tim Paine sexting scandal: Paine’s resignation and Cricket Australia’s handling of the sexting scandal have triggered recriminations, with Cricket Tasmania accusing the national body of hanging the wicketkeeper out to dry having cleared him of any wrongdoing in 2018.

The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday reported players were also unhappy with Cricket Australia’s treatment of Paine, but Harris said he was unaware of any rift.