Tim Paine will miss the first Ashes Test after Cricket Tasmania announced the recently-resigned Test captain is taking a ‘leave of absence’ from cricket for the ‘foreseeable future’.
It comes after Paine resigned from the Australian captaincy after historical sexual harrassmant allegations emerged regarding a sexting scandal with a former Cricket Tasmania employee.
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A statement released on Friday morning by Tasmania read: “Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future.
“Tim’s decision makes him unavailable for selection for today’s Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia. His place in the squad will be taken by Charlie Wakim.
“Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer.”
Paine played with Tasmania’s second-XI in a four-day match against South Australia this week just eight runs across two innings while taking eight catches in SA’s two innings.
Paine’s manager took to Twitter to write: “Confirming that @tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break. We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie’s well-being and will be making no further comment at this time.
He was set to back up for the state’s senior team on Friday in the One-Day Cup in a bid to prove he could play five consecutive days as he continues to recover from surgery on a pinched nerve in his neck.
The 36-year-old hadn’t played a red ball game since April, leaving him worryingly short on time at the crease ahead of the Ashes.
It is now unclear whether Paine will take any part in the Ashes series. Glovemen Alex Carey and Josh Inglis were included in the Australia A squad which is set to play against the Australian Test squad in an Ashes warm-up, while Queenslander Jimmy Peirson has built a strong case in the Sheffield Shield.
MORE TO COME