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Ashes 2021: Tim Paine takes indefinite mental health break from cricket

Tim Paine is stepping away from cricket for an “indefinite mental health break”, his manager said on Friday, leaving Australia’s Ashes preparations in disarray a week after the wicketkeeper’s resignation from the captaincy.

Tim Paine takes indefinite mental health break from cricket (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tim Paine takes indefinite mental health break from cricket
  • Paine is set to miss the Ashes series against England
  • Paine resigned as Australia captain after getting embroiled in a scandal

Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine is likely to miss the entire Ashes series after his manager announced that he is taking an indefinite mental health break from the game. The news comes a week after Paine tearfully quit as captain after revelations of a scandal involving the sending of inappropriate texts to a female co-worker in 2017.

Paine was due to play for Tasmania in a domestic one-day match in Hobart on Friday in the lead-up to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Dec. 8, but will be unavailable for the “foreseeable future”, the state’s cricket association said.

“Confirming that @tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break,” Paine’s manager James Henderson wrote in a social media post. “We are extremely concerned about his and (wife) Bonnie’s well-being and will be making no further comment at this time.”

Cricket Australia, which named fast bowler Pat Cummins as Paine’s replacement on Friday, said Paine advised them he would be ‘stepping away from cricket for a period of time.”

“We recognize that this is an incredibly difficult time for Tim and his family and are committed to supporting them,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said in a statement.

“We respect and understand Tim’s decision to have a break at this time to focus on his and his family’s well-being.”

Paine’s teammates were hoping for the wicketkeeper to play on Dec. 8 — his 37th birthday — when Australia’s five-Test series against England begins in Brisbane. As of Thursday, the veteran was scheduled to join the test squad this weekend.

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