Tim Paine’s Australia team-mates WANT him to play in the Ashes despite his sexting scandal, with Marcus Harris insisting their disgraced former captain deserves a spot in the team to face England

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  • Tim Paine gets support from his Australian colleagues ahead of the Ashes
  • Captain resigned in shame last week after sexting scandal
  • Married father-pine, 36, sends lewd messages to Tasmania aide
  • Opener Marcus Harris believes Paine should be picked for abilities with the glove
  • But the decision will be in the hands of the five-strong selection panel.

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Tim Paine’s Australia team-mates want the disgraced former captain to play in the upcoming Ashes series despite his sexting shame.

The 36-year-old married father stepped down just weeks before the first Test against England after it was revealed he had sent clear messages to a women’s cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

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Paine, who returned to Tasmania’s second XI this week after undergoing neck surgery, is looking to play in the Ashes and has been backed by opener Marcus Harris.

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Tim Paine (centre) returned to action for Tasmania’s second XI this week after a sexting scandal that forced him to step down as Australia captain just weeks before the Ashes.

Paine has been backed by his teammates to play in the Ashes despite scandal

Paine has been backed by his teammates to play in the Ashes despite scandal

Opener Marcus Harris has backed Penn's selection for the upcoming Ashes series

Opener Marcus Harris has backed Penn’s selection for the upcoming Ashes series

Harris believes that Paine should build Australia’s squad for the first Test in Brisbane on 8 December on the strength of his wicket-keeping ability.

‘Yes absolutely. He’s done a really good job in tough conditions over the years, and I think you could still probably argue he’s the best glove in the country,’ Harris said.

‘I know he has got the support of all the players. Apparently Penny is a very popular member of the group, and he was there as captain as well.

‘So we are expecting him to be up here in the next week or two and go ahead with cricket.’

Paine has made a public and emotional apology to his wife Bonnie after the sexting scandal

Paine has made a public and emotional apology to his wife Bonnie after the sexting scandal

Pine, 36, sent a photo of his penis to a female coworker with lewd text messages

Pine, 36, sent a photo of his penis to a female coworker with lewd text messages

Harris said most of Australia’s team had contacted Paine in the wake of the scandal, despite being informed half an hour before it broke last week.

However, it will be up to the selectors whether he retains his place in Australia’s Ashes team or not.

The five-member panel will take a decision but will reportedly not include coach Justin Langer, who will focus on building the team.

Instead the task will fall to selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemade, Cricket Australia board member Mel Jones, chief executive Nick Hockley and chairman Richard Freudenstein.

Alex Carey is expected to pick up the gloves if Paine is taken out.

Harris won’t be drawn on who should be the next captain, with Pat Cummins and Steve Smith at the forefront.

Another factor that worked against Paine is the lack of match practice as he underwent neck surgery in September. His last competitive match before this was in April, when he played for Tasmania against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield.

He took six catches while returning to Tasmania’s second XI on Monday, but was then dismissed for naught on the second ball.

His text exchange with a Cricket Tasmania employee from 2017 included an unsolicited photo of his genitals and ‘graphic sexual comments’, leading him to complain seven months later.

Penn, a 36-year-old married father, sent lewd messages to an employee of Tasmania Cricket in 2017

Penn, a 36-year-old married father, sent lewd messages to an employee of Tasmania Cricket in 2017

Penn was investigated by Cricket Australia in 2018 and charged with wrongdoing after he confessed to his wife Bonnie that he had sex with the woman over the course of 18 hours.

But the matter was kept a secret for three years until the messages were made public on Friday afternoon and Paine resigned as Australian captain a few weeks before the Ashes.

The rise and dramatic fall of Tim Paine in the sexting scandal

Australian captain Tim Paine walks for change during the cricket Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 9, 2021 in Sydney, Australia

Australian captain Tim Paine walks for change during the cricket Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 9, 2021 in Sydney, Australia

2010: Tim Paine made his Test debut against Pakistan, replacing the injured Brad Haddin, but was dropped upon the incumbent’s return.

April 2016: Paine marries Bonnie Maggs

November 17, 2017: Shock recalled for Ashes series

November 22-23, 2017: On the eve and morning of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, Paine sent lewd messages to a female colleague. The pair exchanged texts throughout the year.

January 2018: Selected for the squad for the tour of South Africa

March 25, 2018: Steve Smith and David Warner appointed interim captains after standing on ‘sandpapergate’ ball tampering scandal

March 28, 2018: Paine was appointed captain for the fourth Test of the series, becoming the 46th captain of the Australian team.

April 2018: Awarded the national contract by Cricket Australia

June 2018: Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania become aware of the messages and launch an investigation following the woman’s complaint. Paine claims he was acquitted during the investigation. His wife Bonnie was aware of the messages but chose to stick to it

2018 – 2021: Paine continues as Test captain, retains Ashes in England in 2019

November 19, 2021: Paine steps down as full details of clear messages surface

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