Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ricky Ponting, former Australia skipper, feels the sexting saga involving wicket-keeper batter Tim Paine will bubble along wherever he goes and will linger over the Ashes 2021/22 series. Ricky Ponting said that Tim Paine’s sexting scandal will be a distraction that won’t “go away” easily.

Tim Paine stepped down from the role after sexually explicit text messages he sent to a former female colleague at Cricket Tasmania in 2017 were leaked to the media.
Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Ricky Ponting: Tim Paine Scandal Will Inevitably Be A Distraction

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said Tim Paine’s resignation from the captaincy due to a ‘sexting’ scandal will “inevitably” be a distraction during the five-Test Ashes series against England.

“I think inevitably it will (be a distraction),” Ricky Ponting said.

“Yes, he’s made a huge call for himself, for Australian cricket and for the betterment of the Australian cricket team. But it’s not going to go away. We’re only a few weeks out from the first Test it will bubble along. As much as we would all love to see it go away and there comes a point where it’s never talked about, it’s inevitable that it’s going to be there.”

Ricky Ponting (L) and Tim Paine (R) - File photo
Ricky Ponting (L) and Tim Paine (R) – File photo

The first Ashes Test will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane. Australia hasn’t played a single Test match since losing the Test series to India 1-2 at home in January. Ricky Ponting said the players should not get distracted and should stay focused on the game even if Tim Paine happens to play the first Test. But the former Australian skipper feels that the Tasmania player will definitely be questioned about the incident wherever he goes to play.

“If he plays in Brisbane (for the first Test), the rest of the group and everyone needs to move on and do the best they can to forget about it and knuckle down. Unfortunately for Tim, he’s going to get asked about it everywhere he goes. Whenever you make mistakes and you’ve got to front up in front of the cricket-loving public, you have some doubts in the back of your mind for a period of time.”

It is not clear whether Tim Paine will participate in the Ashes 2021/22 or not, but Ricky Ponting believes that the incident will surely serve as a distraction for the team players.

Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under Tim Paine’s leadership, Australia had retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches but had lost two successive home Test series to India. Tim Paine had scored 1534 runs in 35 Tests averaging 32.64 with 9 fifties. He is yet to score a ton but has 150 catches and 7 stumpings besides his name.

Ricky Ponting Says Alex Carey Is An Obvious Replacement, But He Loves Josh Inglish To Be Groomed To Be A Future Star

Ricky Ponting pointed out a short-term and a long-term scenario when he was asked about Tim Paine’s replacement, picking Alex Carey and Josh Inglis for the two situations, respectively.

“If he (Paine) plays this series and he finishes at the end of the series, they might look at a younger guy. If he’s not picked for Brisbane they might think about someone who’s a bit more experienced, being an Ashes series,” said Ponting.

Alex Carey--Getty Images
Alex Carey–Getty Images

“If Paine doesn’t play in Brisbane, the obvious one is Alex Carey. If Paine does play the Ashes series, they might look at someone like Inglis post this summer. I’m on record saying I love Inglis I think he’s going to be a really good cricketer for Australia for a long time in whatever format they pick him in first, whether it’s T20s, one-dayers, or Test cricket. Speaking to Brad Haddin and even ‘Painey’ they really rate his keeping, they talk really highly of it.”

Ricky Ponting said Alex Carey could replace Tim Paine as wicketkeeper if the 36-year-old is dropped but also backed Josh Inglis, who has yet to make his international debut, to be the long-term successor behind the stumps.