Well as far as Australia captaincy goes anyway. From all accounts you were only in that role to start with because you were a leader. A great buy. A man of integrity.
People ignored the ridiculous popped collar and the piss poor sledging.
And it all fell apart because of an incident four years ago, after which he was exonerated after a Thorough Internal review.
And that’s by far the bigger problem.
Paine was a sleazy creep with some bad lines, but it was the way it was handled at the time, his subsequent promotion, and the extraordinary tone-deaf reactions over the last 24 hours that are easily the bigger stories.
Tim Paine is not the cause of a problem; he is a symptom of it.
Firist of all there was the investigation from Cricket Australia’s Integrity Unit (seriously?) in 2017. They seemed to think all was good. The wonderfully titled CA Integrity Unit exonerated him, and all ways good.
Pass the carpet, we’ve got a big broom ready for this.
As a reward he was promoted to being captain the following year following the sandpapergate incident because he would bring (Elite) integrity back to the role. He was their newfound moral compass.
They knew when they made that pompous call that it was not only hypocritical but had its risks.
Back to the incident itself it should really not have to be restated that if you’re in a flirty conversation with someone you don’t expect to receive nude pictures. Seriously; does this need to even be explained?
And to play the “But it was a private conversation” line in the press release yesterday was, to paraphrase Bill Lawry “Possibly a little bit disappointing”.
As an aside, the flirting was hardly elite. The kind of erotica wouldn’t even make a 50 Shades of Gray remake. A hard pull or whatever.
But the backlash has been interesting, and probably more revealing. Enter that well known upholder of human decency, Greg Dyer.
An historical mistake between consenting adults? So that will be why the victim laid a complaint then. It is a staggering example of men who just don’t get it.
And that crucial role in restoring pride back in the Australian team is quite something.
Sure Paine has brought things into disrepute but it’s nothing on this old boys’ network wagon circling.
And, of course, Tom Greenberg was going to be in the mix.
No doubt the justifications will continue tomorrow. But the main issue is wider.
At a time when the ECB has been rightly pilloried for looking the other way with the mounting evidence of systematic racism it seems like this should turn into a race to the bottom.
This WTC Bronze medal play-off should be a tabloid cracker.