Former Australia was due to join Ashes squad in Brisbane
Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine has taken an indefinite break from the all form of the game citing mental health issues.
The 36-year-old was due to play in Tasmania’s Marsh Cup game on Friday before joining the Australia squad for the Ashes in Brisbane.
Paine’s manager James Henderson confirmed the development on Twitter saying he [Tim Paine] is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break.
His decision put an abrupt end to debate in Australia over whether he should take part in the Ashes, with the first Test against England opening in Brisbane on December 8.
“Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future,” Cricket Tasmania said in a statement.
The Tasmanian keeper quit as Test captain a week ago over the public revelation of an exchange of allegedly sexually graphic text messages with a female colleague in 2017.
Australia’s opener Marcus Harris said only on Wednesday that Paine had the full support of the Australian team and deserved to keep his place for the first Test.
A five-person panel will decide on the new Test captain, with Pat Cummins and Steve Smith seen as the frontrunners.
The panel reportedly will not include coach Justin Langer, who has been told to focus on preparing the team.
Instead, the job will fall to selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, Cricket Australia board member Mel Jones, chief executive Nick Hockley and chairman Richard Freudenstein.
Paine took over as captain in March 2018 in the wake of the “Sandpaper-gate” scandal that rocked Australian cricket.
Then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were forced to step down for their roles in trying to alter the condition of the ball during a Cape Town Test against South Africa.