Tim Paine has stepped down as Australia’s Test skipper revelations of a ‘sexting’ incident involving a former Cricket Tasmania employee in 2017, cricket.com.au reported.

Paine made the announcement in a press conference in Hobart on Friday.

“I’m sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport,” said a tearful Paine, as he announced he was stepping down from a role that he described as “the greatest privilege” of his life.

The development comes as a blow to Australia’s Ashes preparations with the first Test less than three weeks away.

Pat Cummins, who is the vice-captain, is expected to take over the captain’s role making him the first fast bowler to lead the side in 65 years.

Alex Carey and Josh Inglis are in the running to keep wickets for Australia in the first Test on December 8 in Paine’s absence.

Watch Tim Paine’s full press conference below: