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How Cricket Australia Used Tim Paine’s ‘Sexting Scandal’ As PR Stunt To Save Themselves

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Cricket Australia demanded Tim Paine to step down as the captain of the Australian Test team after the pictures of his ‘sexting’ with a fellow coworker from back in 2017 went public. Here’s how the cricket board put the cricketer’s neck on the line to protect themselves as an organisation.

Cricket Australia Had Already Dealt With Tim Paine’s Sexting Scandal Before

One of the biggest problems with Paine being asked to resign is the fact that Cricket Australia were completely aware of the whole scenario right at the beginning of the scandal. They had conducted an internal investigation, got complete cooperation from Paine whenever required and had seen that there was no breach in the Code of Conduct and therefore the cricketer’s professional life shouldn’t take a hit. 

A few questions: a private text conversation between adults is reported to an employer who investigates and says employee cleared of breaching code of conduct. Three years later it is made public. Why? By whom? For what? Should we care? #TimPaine

— Tracey Holmes (@TraceyLeeHolmes) November 19, 2021

Cricket Australia Made Tim Paine Captain After The Scandal

The next issue with how things have turned out is the fact that Paine was appointed as the Test cricket captain one year after the sexting scandal had taken place. Furthermore, the circumstances under which Paine became the skipper were also extraordinary. Steve Smith had just been found guilty of ball-tampering during the infamous ‘sandpapergate’ saga and was suspended from international cricket for one whole year.

If they felt that what Paine had done was as problematic as they have made it seem now, they should never have crowned him to be the leader, or else it would have been yet another Public Relations debacle at the time.

Tim Paine has resigned as Australian Test cricket captain after a sexting scandal was revealed. He is still available for Ashes selection.

All the latest https://t.co/2enZ4u1w5r pic.twitter.com/KUGGXWzDn7

— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) November 19, 2021

The Sexting Was Consensual

Then comes the issue of whether Paine had enforced himself onto his coworker by sending her illicit pictures and messages without her consent? Based on the leaked chat messages, the interactions seem to be pretty much a two-way street. This may have caused problems in Paine’s personal life but should not reflect on his professional career in any way. This was arguably the reason why no actions were taken against him back in 2017.

CA Chairman Richard Freudenstein’s Excuse For Taking Action In 2021

Lastly, it is the CA bossman’s unconvincing excuse for making Paine resign five years after the incident that doesn’t fit really well with the outcome of the whole scandal. Freudenstein says that he would have taken strict action in 2017 itself if he was in charge at the time and that he only came to power two years ago and was told that the case was closed.

I don’t have the whole picture, but a lot of these text message exchanges with Tim Paine and mystery woman seem fairly consensual.

Im not sure you can say some of these things and be surprised? Sounds like they were both pretty keen on sexually explicit chat? pic.twitter.com/vXVDEpTvxq

— Hayden (@Haydenfreedom) November 19, 2021

So, how did the case get opened again? Because of a couple of screenshots that made it online? Surely CA had to be aware of these messages during their “internal investigation” at the time and had chosen to clear him of all charges despite them, right? If that was the case back then, how is it any different now? 

The only difference at the moment is the fact that the issue has gone public and therefore the Board needed to do something to clear themselves of any kind of trouble. What if the pictures never went online? Would Paine continue to be the captain and CA wouldn’t even bat an eyelash?

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