Cricket Tas says CA’s Paine treatment worst since Lawry was sacked 50 years ago

Cricket Tasmania has blasted Cricket Australia for its “appalling” lack of support for Tim Paine – declaring no Test captain has copped worse treatment by the governing body “since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago”.

In a fiery statement released on Tuesday, Cricket Tasmania (CT) reiterated its backing of Paine in no uncertain terms despite his sudden resignation as Test skipper last Friday after a 2017 sexting incident became public.

The CT board met on Monday – the same day Paine returned to the field for Tasmania’s Second XI team and took six catches against South Australia – where it “unanimously expressed its continuing support of Tim Paine and condemnation of his treatment by Cricket Australia”.

“In conversations I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger amongst the Tasmanian cricket community and general public is palpable,” CT chairman Andrew Gaggin said.

“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 Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago.”

Lawry infamously became the first and only Australian Test captain to be sacked during a series when he was axed in the 1970-71 Ashes after a period of tension with the board.

The news was relayed to Lawry via a radio report.

In Gaggins’ view, Cricket Australia (CA) owed Paine more after he guided the Test team out of the despair of the sandpaper scandal.

While CT and CA investigations cleared Paine of breaching their codes of conduct, CA chair Richard Freudenstein has admitted the wicketkeeper should not have been allowed to continue as Test skipper when a complaint was made in mid-2018.

“Based on the facts as they are today the board of Cricket Australia would not have made that decision,” Freudenstein said.

“I acknowledge the decision clearly sent the wrong message that this behaviour is acceptable and without serious consequences.

“The role of Australian cricket captain must be held to the highest standards.”

But CT believes Paine should have stayed in the role.

“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,” Gaggin said.

CT isn’t alone in its unequivocal support of Paine. The Australian Cricketers’ Association expressed similar sentiments in a statement last week.

“While respecting the decision made by Tim Paine, the ACA is saddened that he felt the need to resign from the captaincy of the Australian Test team,” an ACA statement read.

“While regrettable, this was an historical mistake that was a private matter between consenting individuals. Tim fully cooperated in an integrity investigation by Cricket Australia in 2018 in which he was exonerated.

“Tim humbly recognised the respect that comes with the Australian captaincy and his resignation reflects the esteem in which he held the role that he served so well in a trying period for Australian cricket.

“Tim’s captaincy has been regarded throughout the cricket world as playing a crucial role in restoring pride back in the Australian team, both in their performance and the spirit in which they play the game.

“While Tim has clearly made a mistake, he will continue to have the full and unequivocal support of the ACA.”

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