Ashes 2021-22: Australian bowlers want Tim Paine to continue as wicket-keeper, says Nathan Lyon
On November 19, Tim Paine resigned as Australia’s Test captain over a 2017 sexting scandal, but expressed his willingness to continue as wicket-keeper.
Just days after Tim Paine resigned as Australia's Test captain over a 2017 sex text message scandal, the team's bowlers have backed the former skipper to continue as wicket-keeper for the upcoming Ashes series against England.
Calling him 'the best keeper in the world', spin king Nathan Lyon guaranteed that Paine would receive the full support of the Australian changing room. Hailing Tim Paine's move to own up his mistake, Nathan Lyon added that this shows the incredible courage of the former Test captain.
The selectors now have a task at hand and decide soon on whether they should cut Tim Paine loose or start afresh among support from players to retain him as wicket-keeper for the opening Ashes clash in Brisbane on December 8.
Earlier this week, opener Marcus Harris also confirmed that Tim Paine had the backing of the entire Australian squad. Nathan Lyon, who is just one wicket away from 400 scalps in Tests, reiterated this.
Lyon added that the selectors always said they would pick the best playing XI for the Ashes series, and 'in my eyes, Paine is the best keeper in the world'.
Adding that he wants Paine to continue serving the Australian side, Lyon also revealed that every bowler in the team has an exceptional relation with Tim Paine. He is also loveable and one of the most respected men in the team.
On November 19, Tim Paine resigned as Australia's Test captain over a 2017 incident. He had sent an explicit photograph of himself along with a string of lewd text messages to a female co-worker. However, during his press conference in Hobart, the 36-year-old expressed his willingness to continue as Australia's wicket-keeper.
Paine was investigated in November 2017 and cleared of any breach of cricket's code of conduct. Still, he revealed he was stepping down as captain because his actions "do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain".
Tim Paine's replacement is yet to be announced, with vice-captain Pat Cummins and Steve Smith the frontrunners to lead the side for the much-anticipated Ashes series.