Spinner Nathan Lyon has called for Tim Paine to retain his spot in Australia’s side after the Tasmanian resigned as captain over inappropriate behaviour.
The 36-year-old announced he was stepping down from the role on Friday, less than three weeks before the beginning of the Ashes, following revelations about a ‘sexting’ scandal.
Lyon, who has formed a strong partnership with the keeper, who was appointed to lead his country following the cheating scandal in 2018, told reporters on Thursday that Paine should still be selected behind the stumps.
“The selectors said they were going to pick the best available XI. In my eyes, Tim Paine is the best keeper in the world,” Lyon said.
“This is very selfish: From a bowler’s point of view I want the best gloveman behind the stumps. Every bowler’s relationship with the keeper is exceptional.”
The New South Wales product said Paine was a “very lovable guy and very well respected”, indicating the former captain has the team’s backing to take on England when the series begins in Brisbane.
Lyon said: “I’m pretty sure I’m speaking on behalf of every bowler that we want the best keeper. He’s got my full support and I 100 per cent guarantee he’s got the full support of the Australian change room.”
Meanwhile, play was abandoned on the third day of England’s warm-up against England Lions due to rain at Wellington Point, with Haseeb Hameed (53) and Rory Burns (39) both unbeaten at the crease.
England will take on Australia in the first Test at the Gabba from December 8 and the fifth and final Test is scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium on January 14.
Tasmania chairman labels Paine’s treatment ‘worst of an Aussie Test captain in 50 years’
By Telegraph Sport and Reuters News Agency
Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin has condemned Cricket Australia’s “appalling” treatment of Tim Paine, saying he should never have been put in a position where he felt he had to resign as Australia’s Test captain.
Paine stood down from the role last Friday after sexually explicit text messages he sent to a female former colleague at Cricket Tasmania in 2017 were leaked to the media.
The 36-year-old wicketkeeper, who has represented Tasmania since the 2005/06 season, had been exonerated by a Cricket Australia integrity review into the matter soon after becoming Test captain in 2018.
“In conversations I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger amongst the Tasmania cricket community and general public is palpable,” Gaggin said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town.
“The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago.”
Lawry was notoriously sacked as Australia captain and dropped from the team ahead of the final Test of the 1970/71 Ashes series, only discovering his fate when informed by reporters.
Cricket Tasmania said after Paine’s resignation that the female former employee had complained to them about the messages only after she had been charged with stealing from the organisation.
Cricket Australia chair Richard Freudenstein said on Saturday that the current leadership team would have sacked Paine had they been in charge in 2018.
“At a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable,” Gaggin continued.
“The Cricket Tasmania board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the code of conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated.”
Fast bowler Pat Cummins is favourite to replace Paine as Test captain ahead of the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane on December 8.