Tim Paine has announced his resignation as Australian Test captain in Hobart over a 2017 sexting scandal.
In a press conference at 2:30pm local time, Paine, in front of the press, read a short statement with the announcement.
“Today I’m announcing my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian Men’s Test team. It’s an incredibly difficult decision but the right one for me, my family and cricket.”
Paine was appointed the 46th Australian Test captain in 2018, taking over from Steve Smith.
He captained the team during the 2019 Ashes series, where Australia retained the coveted trophy on foreign soil for the first time in 18 years.
The men’s Ashes begins next month with Australia hosting England in Brisbane on December 8.
Paine, who is married with two children, was accused of sending lewd messages to a female colleague.
A News Corp report revealed Cricket Australia had investigated and cleared Paine in 2018 over lewd messages, including images, sent to a female colleague.
The exchanges took place in 2017.
The woman reportedly raised the matter with cricket officials in June the following year, three months after Paine was elevated to the captaincy in the explosive fallout from Australia’s ball-tampering scandal.
Paine was cleared of any breaches of code of conduct but resigned on Friday after the matter became public.
“It’s an incredibly difficult decision but the right one for me, my family and cricket,” Paine said.
“Although exonerated I deeply regretted in incident at a time and I do so today. I spoke to my wife and family at a time and enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support.
Cricket Australia accepted his resignation.
“While the board acknowledges an investigation cleared Tim of any breach of the code of conduct regarding this matter some years ago, we respect his decision,” CA said in a statement.