Cricket Tasmania furious at Cricket Australia's treatment of Tim Paine
Chairman Andrew Gaggin describes CA's treatment of Paine as "appalling" and "the worst since Bill Lawry"
Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin has lashed out at Cricket Australia, describing their treatment of Tim Paine as "appalling" and "the worst" of any Australia captain in 50 years.
Gaggin released the statement on behalf of the Cricket Tasmania board on Tuesday, launching a withering attack on Cricket Australia's handling of Paine in the aftermath of a texting scandal becoming public on Friday.
CA chairman Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley admitted on Saturday they would have axed Paine as captain had they been in charge in 2018, despite Paine being investigated and cleared by CA's integrity unit of wrongdoing regarding explicit and inappropriate text messages with a co-worker at Cricket Tasmania.
Paine's successor, expected to be Pat Cummins, could be confirmed this week. Cricket Australia announced a five-member panel who would oversee the process and send a name to the board for final approval. Freudenstein and Hockley will be joined by CA director Mel Jones plus selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide.
Gaggin launched at CA, saying the Cricket Tasmania board unanimously expressed condemnation at how Paine had been treated since the texting scandal became public.
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"In conversations I have had in recent days, it is clear the anger amongst the Tasmanian cricket community and general public is palpable," he said in the statement.
"Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town. Yet, at a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable. The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by CA has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry 50 years ago."
"The Cricket Tasmania Board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the Code of Conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated."
The statement concluded by saying that Cricket Tasmania would continue to support Paine and was pleased to see him take six catches on his return from injury for Tasmania's 2nd XI against South Australia. He missed out with the bat on day two of the four-day game, lasting just two balls as he was adjudged lbw to South Australia's left-arm spinner Sam Kerber for 1.
Gaggin's statement echoed the words of former CA chairman David Peever who was equally critical of CA's handling of Paine, saying he deserved loyalty at this time and not abandonment.
Speaking earlier in the day Nick Cummins, the current Cricket Victoria chief executive who was in the same position with Tasmania at the time of the complaint against Paine, supported initial outcome.
"The process that Cricket Australia used at the time was bulletproof. We were really satisfied that it was done the right way," he told SEN radio.
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo