Ashes 2021: Tim Paine is out of the series after taking an indefinite break

Tim Paine is stepping away from cricket for an "indefinite mental health break", his manager said on Friday, leaving Australia's Ashes 2021 preparations in disarray

Arijit Barua
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Tim Paine, the former Australia Test skipper, is set to miss the start of the Ashes 2021 after opting for an indefinite leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future. Paine's decision to take a mental health break comes a week after he stepped down as captain of the Test team following a sexting scandal.

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Paine was supposed to play for Tasmania in the One-Day Cup match before joining the Test squad in Brisbane. Although, he has withdrew from the match. "Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future. Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer," Cricket Tasmania said in a statement on Friday (November 26).

Tim Paine takes rest from cricket for Mental health | Ashes 2021 |

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Cricket Australia pledged support for Paine. They also mentioned that the selection panel will finalise the squad for the first Ashes Test in the coming days. With Paine taking a break from cricket, one of Alex Carey and Josh Inglis could debut at The Gabba on December 8.

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Ashes 2021 : Cricket Australia's chief executive officer, Nick Hockley said about Paine's decision :

We recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for Tim and his family and are committed to supporting them. We respect and understand Tim's decision to have a break at this time. He wants to focus on his and his family's well-being," Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer, said, "The National Selection Panel will meet in the coming days to discuss the final squad ahead of the first Ashes Test on December 8."

Meanwhile, Paine's manager James Henderson said he was "extremely concerned" for Paine and his wife Bonnie. "Confirming that (Paine) is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break. We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie's well-being. However will be making no further comment at this time," Henderson tweeted.

Also Read: Ashes 2021: Australia announces their squad for home series

Paine has played 35 Tests so far for Australia. Meanwhile, four of those since his comeback after a six year gap when he bounces back in 2017-18. He has lost two Test series at home against India but did retain the Ashes in England during 2019.

Pat Cummins will be leading the Aussies side for the Ashes 2021 series with Steve Smith as vice-captain. Meanwhile, he became the 47th Australian Test captain after Tim Paine to be a permanent Test captain of the side.

Cricket Australia Pat Cummins Steve Smith Ashes Tim Paine