Australian Men’s Test Captain Tim Paine has resigned after a sexting incident in 2017.

In a press conference in Hobart this afternoon, the 36-year-old announced he would be standing down from his position, effective immediately. The decision to resign stems from a rather spicy text convo Paine had with a female former staffer at Cricket Tasmania. Really puts that time ABC reporter Tony Armstrong accidentally mentioned Paine’s “bulging dick” on-air into perspective, huh?

“On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community,” he said.

“I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused to my wife, my family, and to the other party.

“I’m sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport and I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately.”

During the press conference, Paine refused to answer questions. Instead, he said that he hoped that his decision wouldn’t interfere with the Ashes tournament, which officially kicks off in Brisbane on the 8th of December.

According to Cricket Australia, the incident that led to Paine’s resignation wasn’t reported on at the time but allegations were raised when the employee was charged with theft in mid-2018. According to Chief Andrew Gaggin, via the ABC, an investigation into the incident found the interaction between them was “consensual, private, occurred on the one occasion only, was between mature adults and was not repeated”.

“Cricket Australia does not condone this type of behaviour and addressed the matter directly with Tim Paine,” he said.

“However, because of the consensual nature of the actions, it was determined that no further action was required or appropriate.”

In a statement this afternoon, representatives for Cricket Australia said they were “saddened” by Paine’s decision but respect it.

While regrettable, this was a 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.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, Tim Paine’s replacement as Australia’s men’s Test captain is between Pat Cummins and Steve Smith. Speaking on 2GB Drive, former decisionmaker Mark Waugh said that the best outcome would be for Cummins to be captain and Smith his vice-captain.

“[Cummins] is the frontrunner,” he said.

“[Smith]’s vice-captain and there’s been a lot of talk about him taking over from Tim Paine sooner rather than later without this incident.

“Steve Smith might be a good vice-captain. He has experience there and he’s someone to lean on.”

Court proceedings regarding the female staffer’s theft charges are still underway.

Image: Getty Images / [Daniel Pockett - CA]