Australian Test captain Tim Paine on Friday stepped down from the post after being investigated by Cricket Australia over sending a co-worker an explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages.

The development comes weeks ahead of the Ashes series against old foes England.

Reports claimed a Cricket Tasmania female employee was offended by “Mr Paine’s sexually explicit, unwelcome and unsolicited photograph of his genitals in addition to the graphic sexual comments.”

Paine will, however, continue to be a part of the Australian team.

“It’s an incredibly difficult decision but the right one for me, my family and cricket,” Paine said.

“Although exonerated I deeply regretted in an incident at a time and I do so today. I spoke to my wife and family at a time and enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support,” he added.

Watch the full press conference below:


(With PTI inputs)