Michael Clarke (India Today)
Michael Clarke (India Today)

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke is unhappy with Cricket Australia’s treatment of Tim Paine. Last week, Paine resigned from his Test captaincy position, three weeks before the Ashes is set to commence, amid the ‘sexting’ scandal.

It has been learned that the board launched an investigation in 2018 and cleared Paine of any misconduct charges.

However, upon learning that the messaged were about to be leaked in public, Paine resigned from his position. Then, CA chairman Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley stated on Saturday that they would have axed Paine as the captain had they been in charge in 2018.

Tim Paine
Tim Paine (Image Credit: Twitter)

CA have now started a process to look into the prospective captain, Pat Cummins, into his history and any topic which may become an issue.

Michael Clarke questioned the backing which CA should have given Paine over an off-field issue. He reckons if the board inquires every detail of the new captain, they won’t have anyone completely clean enough to take over.

“Where is the backing of the player as well? You’ll be looking for 15 years (if you want a captain who hasn’t done anything wrong), we won’t have a captain,” Michael Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast.

Go back in my time even to Ricky Ponting: Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke recalled how Ricky Ponting had trouble off the field in his early years. But the board didn’t sack him as the captain for that.

Instead, Clarke points out, Ponting learned from his experiences and became one of the greatest captains.

Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting
Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting [Image-Getty]

“Go back in my time even to Ricky Ponting. If that’s the case, he never would have captained Australia. He had a punch up in the middle of a Bourbon & Beefsteak. Are you not going to give him the job because of that? He’s a great example. He’s shown you how time, experience, maturity, playing at the highest level and even the captaincy turned him around,” the 2015 World Cup winning skipper added.

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith were interviewed by a 5-member panel for the Test captain and vice-captain roles. The new skipper is to be announced in the coming days.

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