‘No more sledging’ says new Australia Test cricket captain Tim Paine

Skipper aims to clean up the team’s image following ball-tampering scandal

Tim Paine Australia Test cricket captain sledging ball-tampering
Tim Paine has replaced Steve Smith as captain of the Australia Test cricket side
(Image credit: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Australia’s new Test cricket captain Tim Paine has vowed to stamp out sledging and win back the “trust and respect” of the nation in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.

The Baggy Greens’s new Test skipper has taken over the role from former captain Steve Smith, who was one of the three players implicated in the ball-tampering incident against South Africa last month.

Smith and former vice-captain David Warner were given 12-month suspensions, while batsman Cameron Bancroft was issued a nine-month ban, after sandpaper was used to tamper with the ball during the third Test match in Cape Town. Head coach Darren Lehmann also resigned.

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Paine, who captained Australia in the fourth and final Test of the South Africa tour, spoke to press today about how he will lead the team going forward.

Asked if sledging would continue, the 33-year-old told Cricket.com.au: “No, I don’t think it will, not a lot. I think there’s always a time and a place to talk to your opposition, but I think what’s said and how it’s said will be very different going forward.

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“A lot of this stuff we were actually starting to speak about under Steve [Smith’s captaincy] already. A lot of the players had their head around the fact we needed to change the way we play. Some of those conversations were already being had.

“I’m really looking forward to playing that role and winning back the trust and respect of our fans and the Australian public first and foremost. That’s a really exciting thing for our playing group.”

Cricket Australia is searching for a new head coach to replace Lehmann, and a review is ongoing into the team’s culture. Australia’s next Test series is against Pakistan in October.

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