Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said that it will be tough for Tim Paine to handle the sexting scandal situation if he plays the Ashes.
Recently, Paine stepped down from Australia’s Test captaincy role after his investigation with Cricket Australia was revealed in the public domain.
The Australian wicketkeeper-batter sent lewd text messages along with an unsolicited explicit image of himself to a female co-worker at Cricket Tasmania.
Tim Paine has made a huge call for himself and Australian cricket: Ricky Ponting
It is not clear whether Paine will participate in the Ashes or not, but Ponting believes that the incident will surely serve as a distraction for the team players.
“I think inevitably it will (be a distraction). Yes, he’s made a huge call for himself, for Australian cricket and for the betterment of the Australian cricket team. But it’s not going to go away,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“We’re only a few weeks out from the first Test, and it will bubble along. As much as we would all love to see it go away and there comes a point where it’s never talked about, it’s inevitable that it’s going to be there,” he added.
Everyone needs to move on: Ricky Ponting
The first Ashes Test is just two weeks away and will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane. Australia haven’t played a single Test match since losing the Test series to India 1-2 at home in January.
Ponting said the players should not get distracted and should stay focused on the game even if Paine happens to play the first Test. But the former Australian skipper feels that the Tasmania player will definitely be questioned about the incident wherever he goes to play.
“If he plays in Brisbane (for the first Test), the rest of the group and everyone needs to move on and do the best they can to forget about it and knuckle down,” Ponting said.
“Unfortunately for Tim, he’s going to get asked about it everywhere he goes. Whenever you make mistakes, and you’ve got to front up in front of the cricket-loving public, you have some doubts in the back of your mind for a period of time,” he added.
Cricket Australia is yet to name a successor for Paine, but senior pace bowler Pat Cummins and swashbuckling batter Steve Smith remain the front-runners for the post.