Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor. Image-Reuters

Former Australia captain Mark Taylor, who was also a Cricket Australia (CA) board member in 2018, has defended the board’s decision to keep the investigation of Tim Paine’s explicit text messages in-house.

Tim Paine had sent lewd messages and a graphic image to a female Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017. A complaint against him was lodged in 2018; he was, though, cleared of any misconduct in a 2018 integrity unit investigation.

However, on learning that the messages were going to be made public, the wicket-keeper stepped down as Australia’s Test captain on Friday, less than three weeks before the Ashes is set to commence.

Tim Paine
Tim Paine (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mark Taylor, who had resigned from the board in November 2018 amid the fallout from the ball-tampering scandal, stated the call to keep the issue within the board was taken in the best interest of cricket in the country as well as Tim Paine, his wife Bonnie, and the female involved.

“A decision was taken by the integrity unit and supported by the board to keep this in house,” Mark Taylor told Nine’s Sports Sunday.

“There’s obviously been a lot of conjecture about the rights and wrongs of that. That decision was made not just on what is best for cricket, but what was best for Tim Paine, Bonnie Paine and also the woman involved.”

CA didn’t stand Tim down; he stood down, he resigned himself: Mark Taylor

After Paine’s resignation, the current CA chairman Richard Freudenstein said if this board had been given all the information now available, they may not have continued with Paine as the skipper.

Mark Taylor shot back that the board had known the issue and its details for three years and pointed out that it was Paine who stood down as the skipper and wasn’t sacked by the board.

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne
Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

“Three-and-a-half or four years of hindsight is a wonderful thing. I don’t know if he has any more information, that the integrity unit had of Cricket Australia in 2018. It’s interesting to note that even now, having said that…they didn’t stand Tim down. He stood down, he resigned himself,” the former captain added.

Pat Cummins, the vice-captain, is likely to be appointed as the new skipper while Paine is available for selection for the Ashes, which is set to commence on December 8 in Brisbane.

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