Former Cricket Australia chairman David Peever says the board had a ‘knee jerk reaction’ over Tim Paine and said he should have stayed on as captain of the team
Former Cricket Australia chairman David Peever has hit out at the current board over the Tim Paine affair, accusing it of abandoning the fallen Test captain.
In an angry statement, Peever accused CA of a knee-jerk reaction and hit back at new chairman Richard Freudenstein’s claims the current board would have taken the captaincy off Paine three years ago.
It was under Peever’s administration that Paine was cleared of any misconduct following a 2018 integrity unit investigation into lewd messages and a graphic image to Cricket Tasmania colleague.
‘I’m disappointed to see a current chairman publicly criticising decisions of a previous board, several members of whom are still on the board and were part of the 2018 decision,’ Peever said.
‘I’m also very disappointed at the way Tim Paine had been treated by Cricket Australia.’
Paine, who guided Australia to the Ashes in England in 2019, announced he was stepping down as captain in a tearful press conference on Friday
Paine says he told wife Bonnie (pictured) in mid-2018 after Cricket Tasmania and Cricket Australia investigated the incident between him and the young staffer
Paine’s brother-in-law also became engulfed in the drama on Sunday, with revelations he too was caught up in the complaint made to Cricket Australia over further lewd messages with the woman.
Shannon Tubb, a former first-class cricketer for the Tigers, has since left a coaching role at Cricket Tasmania.
Meanwhile, Peever said it was unfair for Paine to be cleared of misconduct in 2018, only to have a new board say he should have been punished now following Friday’s resignation.
‘Tim has been an incredible servant of the game and took over the leadership of the national team in the most difficult of circumstances,’ Peever said.
‘He has led with distinction for more than three years. He deserves Cricket Australia’s loyalty and not to be abandoned at this time.’
Freudenstein’s comments on Saturday essentially claimed that while the findings of the investigation were still correct, Peever’s board should have held Paine to a higher account as captain.
But Peever questioned how any decisions could be made if the texts were found to be private, consensual and not an act of misconduct.
‘Why have a code of conduct if you are going to make up your own rules as you go?’ Peever said.
‘Cricket Australia’s decision seems knee jerk and unfortunately shows double standards.
‘This issue has been doing the rounds in cricket circles for some years now.
‘The current chairman has been on the board for two years and it is implausible he didn’t know about it.
‘If he and his board felt so strongly about it, why wait until now to act?’
Paine announced his resignation as captain in a statement on Friday afternoon and held a press conference and 2.30pm on Friday where he tearfully apologised
Peever’s point was corroborated by Tim Paine’s interview with News Corp at the weekend, where he described the incident as a ticking time bomb that he knew would one day be made public.
Paine confirmed there had been ‘numerous times’ when media agencies had made enquiries about the story, but it had not been aired or published.
But both Freudenstein and chief executive Nick Hockley defended not going back over the investigation earlier on Saturday, given they only joined in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
‘I was given a very high-level briefing that there had been an incident,’ Freudenstein said.
‘A thorough investigation and no misconduct found. There was no reason to investigate that further at that stage.’
Cricket legend Shane Warne has leapt to the defence of Paine saying ‘he’s only human’ and that the matter has already been dealt with by his family
Meanwhile, fellow former director Mark Taylor also took a subtle jab over the new board’s failure to act earlier, while also defending the decision to keep the investigation in house.
Taylor agreed the call was right for Paine to stand down now the incident had become public, but claimed it was for the good of both the sport and all involved that it was kept private.
‘A decision was taken by the integrity unit and supported by the board to keep this in-house,’ Taylor told the Nine Network.
‘That decision was made not just on what is best for cricket, but what was best for Tim Paine, Bonnie Paine and also the woman involved.’