Melbourne, Nov 20 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Richard Freudenstein admitted that the organisation would not have appointed Tim Paine as the captain of the Test team if the events of his off-field conduct would have happened today. He added that the role of the Australian cricket captain has to be held to the highest standards.
On Friday, Paine sensationally stepped down as the Test captain after his explicit messages with a former Cricket Tasmania female employee were made public.
“I acknowledge the decision clearly sent the wrong message to the sport, to the community and to Tim that this kind of behaviour is acceptable and without serious consequences. The role of the Australian cricket captain must be held to the highest possible standards,” Freudenstein was quoted as saying by news.com.au in a virtual press conference on Saturday.
“I can’t talk about the 2018 decision. I wasn’t there; I’m not sure of all the circumstances that took place. But I am saying based on the facts as they are today… the board of Cricket Australia today would not have made that decision,” added Freudenstein, who joined CA as a director in 2019 and became chairman last month.
The incident involving Paine had been investigated in 2018 but he was cleared by Cricket Tasmania as well as CA’s integrity unit of breaching their code of conduct and was able to serve as the Australia Test captain since the Sandpaper-gate came into light.
Freudenstein further talked about more learnings there for players and CA as an organisation in terms of education on texting.
“Since 2018, the organisation has implemented more education for players, including training in relation to acceptable behaviour when engaging social media, including the exchange of sexually explicit texts. What is clear is there are lessons to be learned and we as an organisation have more to do and will do more in this area.”
Freudenstein also recognised Paine’s good behaviour during his reign as the Australian Test captain.
“Tim admits he made a mistake in 2017. I think his behaviour since then has been incredible and he’s done a great job as a leader and ambassador for cricket. I think the culture of the team is very strong. What is happening in Australian cricket at a Test level, at a professional level and a community level, there is so much good work going on across Australian cricket and I think that will continue.”