Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said that the Ashes series against England, starting next month, is diverting the team’s attention due to Tim Paine’s ‘sexting scandal’. Penn resigned from the captaincy last week after sending obscene messages to his female partner. The Ashes series between Australia and England will be played at the Gabba from December 8. Paine had decided to step down from the Test captaincy, expressing regret for sending his obscene pictures and lewd messages to a female colleague. This case dates back to 2017 and after which he got a clean chit in the investigation of Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania.
Ponting told cricket.cot.au, ‘I think it will distract the attention of the Australia team a lot. Tim Paine made a huge contribution to Australian cricket and to the betterment of the Australian cricket team by admitting his own guilt. But this story will not end so soon. Tim is being asked the same thing everywhere. I hope this difficult period in Tim Paine’s life passes soon.
The veteran Australian wicketkeeper had also admitted his mistake in the 2017 press conference for the matter. Ponting said that Alex Carey can replace Tim Paine as wicketkeeper. He further said that Penn’s sexting scandal could upset the Aussies during the Ashes. Ponting said, ‘I am saying that I have a lot of love for Inglis. I think he can be a good cricketer for Australia in the long run. Be it T20 match, ODI or Test cricket, be it in any format.