Tim Paine
on Sunday said he always knew that the ‘sexting’ scandal, which forced him to
step down from the role of Australia’s Test captain, will become public at some
point, saying he was approached by the media about the issue “numerous times”
over the past three years.

joined England in dealing with off-field controversies in the lead up to the
Ashes series on Friday, when Paine announced in a press conference his decision
to step down as captain
over a series of explicit text messages and images he
sent to a female colleague at Cricket Tasmania in 2017.

Apart from
sending Australia’s Ashes preparations into chaos, the ramifications from Paine’s
announcement include background checks to scan for potential integrity issues
for new captains, according to ESPNcricinfo.

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Opening up
about the controversy in an interview alongside his wife Bonnie for NewsCorp,
Paine said he “absolutely” believed the issue was a ticking time bomb and will
eventually surface.

“I thought
the issue was dealt with, but it always popped up around a big series, or at
the start of the cricket season. Over the last three years, there have been
numerous times where media agencies have put to us that they had evidence, yet
they never chose to write it. As to why, I’m not sure, but nobody else had
chosen to write the story, but I knew it was going to come out at some point,
as much as I didn’t want it to.”

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Paine was,
however, insistent that the texts he sent were fully consensual and that they
did not make him reluctant on taking up the Test captaincy in March 2018 – in
the aftermath of the ‘sandpaper gate’ ball-tampering scandal that rocked
Australian cricket.

He also
said he was not aware the texts were a problem until May 2018, when then-Cricket
Tasmaia chief executive Nick Cummins first spoke him about it. “Because it was a consensual
exchange of messages months beforehand, I didn’t think it was anything to
consider. I never thought for a moment that it would become an issue. I was
just excited and honoured to be asked.”

Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley on Saturday said
Paine would have been axed had they been in charge when the issue first surfaced.