The development comes weeks ahead of the five-Test Ashes series against arch-rivals England. The first Test begins in Brisbane on December 8.
“Today I am announcing my decision to stand down as captain of the Australian men’s cricket team. It’s an incredibly difficult decision but the right one for me, my family and cricket,” Paine said during a press conference. “Nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague.
“Although exonerated I deeply regretted the incident at a time and I do so today. I spoke to my wife and family at a time and was enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support.”
Paine will, however, continue to be a part of the Australian team. Reports claimed a Cricket Tasmania employee was offended by “Paine’s sexually explicit, unwelcome and unsolicited photograph of his genitals in addition to the graphic sexual comments.” (MR, Inputs: Agencies).