Paine takes aim at CA for forcing him to quit while accusing Proteas of ball-tampering

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Tim Paine has fired back at Cricket Australia executives by saying they “held a gun to my head” to to force him to quit as Test captain last year.

Paine’s new book, The Price Paid, lifts the lid on how CA initially cleared him of wrongdoing in what he described as a consensual exchange with a Cricket Tasmania employee before then doing a U-turn when a PR consultant recommended he should be removed from the captaincy.

He also turned the tables on South Africa, accusing them of ball tampering in the match after the infamous Sandpapergate incident of 2018. 

In excerpts from the book published by NewsCorp – the same media organisation which broke the story of his sexting scandal which led to his resignation in the lead-up to last year’s Ashes series, Paine accused CA chief executive Nick Hockley of lacking the courage to sack him.

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“We did a phone link which included this person they’d hired from a public relations firm who’d apparently given advice to the board in the past,” Paine wrote.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Tim Paine of Tasmania looks on during the Sheffield Shield match between Queensland Bulls and Tasmania Tigers at Allan Border Field, on October 06, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Tim Paine on day one of his return to first-class cricket with Tasmania. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

“He said that he’d been in the newspaper game for many years and this was going to be huge and would not go away. I found it very strange that this person, someone I’d never met and someone who did not work at Cricket Australia, took the lead in the call while Nick, the chief executive, took a back seat.

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“The consultant then said that the best way to get ahead of the story was if I stood down as captain. I was stunned by that.

“Who was this guy? What did he know about the circumstances? That was the first time anyone had mentioned me resigning as captain. There was no way I was doing that. I knew what had happened. Cricket Australia knew what had happened and in my mind this guy didn’t know, or worse than that, it was like he believed that I had sexually harassed her.”

Paine added that Hockley then chimed in to say the veteran keeper should take heed of the consultant’s advice.

“I said, ‘Do you want me to resign as Test captain, Nick?’ He couldn’t give me a straight answer, or wouldn’t. He kept talking around in circles.”

“It was becoming obvious what Cricket Australia wanted me to do but they didn’t have the courage to say it themselves, they were letting their hired consultant run the show.

“They’d held a gun to my head. I couldn’t go on without their support.”

Paine is up front in the book that he does not want sympathy from anyone for his actions which he described as a selfish indiscretion which has had lasting ramifications for his family life.

He took an extended break from cricket following the revelations late last year and has only recently returned to first-class cricket with Tasmania, playing in the Sheffield Shield. 

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His chances of returning to the Test team were slim anyway but after making these explosive allegations, it is hard to see Paine ever being recalled even if current gloveman Alex Carey was unavailable.

He played the last of his 35 Tests in the loss to India at the Gabba at the start of last year and given that he will turn 38 next month, Paine will probably retire from all cricket within the next year.

While again taking aim at CA for hanging David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith out to dry for the Sandpapergate scandal, he claimed he saw the Proteas tampering with the ball in the fourth Test of the series when Paine was hastily installed as skipper when Smith was banned.

He said claims that the entire Australian team was involved in the ball-tampering scheme were “rubbish” and pointed the finger at the Proteas.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Tim Paine of Tasmania looks on during the Marsh One Day Cup match between Western Australia and Tasmania at the WACA on April 08, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

“Everyone out there was shocked when they looked up on the big screen and saw Cameron Bancroft with a piece of sandpaper in his hand. I was stunned. We all were.

“My heart sank, I was thinking, ‘What the f—?’ A sense of dread came over us all.

“On reflection all three of them should have had more support. Maybe we could have done more as a group or organisation, not enough people put themselves in their shoes.

“I saw it happen in the fourth Test of that series,” he wrote in accusing South Africa of manipulating the ball. “Think about that. After everything that had happened in Cape Town, after all the headlines and bans and carry-on.

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“I was standing at the bowler’s end in the next Test when a shot came up on the screen of a South African player at mid-off having a huge crack at the ball. The television director, who had played an active role in catching out Cam, immediately pulled the shot off the screen.

“We went to the umpires about it, which might seem a bit poor, but we’d been slaughtered and were convinced they’d been up to it since the first Test. But the footage got lost. As it would.”

Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft walks out of the dressing rooms

Cameron Bancroft and David Warner. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

His opposing captain that day, Faf du Plessis, has coincidentally just released a book of his own in which he claimed Australia had been tampering with the ball long before the Cape Town Test of 2018. 

In “Faf: Through Fire”, he revealed his team started spying on the Australians in the field. 

“We suspected that someone had been nurturing the ball too much to get it to reverse so wildly, and we watched the second Test at St George’s through binoculars, so that we could follow the ball more closely while Australia was fielding.

“When we noticed that the ball was going to David Warner quite often.

“There was a visible difference between how Mitchell Starc got the ball to reverse in the first Test in Durban and the final Test in Johannesburg. We now know that there was an obvious reason for that.”



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