Cricket Tasmania have hit out at Cricket Australia's treatment of their former captain Tim Paine in the wake of his sexting scandal on the eve of the Ashes.
It is another headache for Cricket Australia ahead of their home Ashes defence after Paine sensationally quit as captain of the Australia Test team in a tearful press conference last Friday.
His resignation came after details of X-rated text messages he sent to a female former co-worker at Cricket Tasmania in 2017 came to light. The controversy was investigated by the Cricket Australia Integrity Unit and Cricket Tasmania’s HR department in mid-2018.
However, it was concluded that Paine had not breached the Australia Code of Conduct.
With the scandal leading to Paine's resignation just under three weeks before the Ashes begins, Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin believes Cricket Australia handled the situation terribly.
Gaggin is furious with the treatment of Paine, who he believes was thrown under the bus by the governing body.
"In conversations I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger among the Tasmanian cricket community and general public is palpable," Gaggin declared.
"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.
"Yet, at a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable.
"The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago.
"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."
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Paine – who is still to be picked in the squad – took over the captaincy from Steve Smith in 2018 when the star batsman was embroiled in the ball-tampering controversy involving David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
The 36-year-old was heading into the Ashes with minor injury issues having undergone surgery for a bulging disc in his neck.
Paine got some necessary match practice as he took to the wicket for Tasmania's second XI in Hobart. It was the former Australia captain's first competitive outing since April 6.
He took six catches for his team at Lindisfarne Oval but was given out for just one run after being dismissed via LBW.
The first Ashes Test at the Gabba begins December 8, with the fifth and final Test scheduled for Perth's Optus Stadium on January 14.
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