Why ‘selfish’ former Australian captain Tim Paine DUMPED all of his Australian and Tasmanian cricket gear to save his marriage following sexting scandal that nearly cost him everything
Former Australian Test skipper Tim Paine has bared all about his ‘selfish’ attitude which led to the demise of his life – saying he failed as a husband and dumped cricket altogether to regain his marriage.
Paine infamously resigned as the national captain in November last year, after an inappropriate intimate exchange with a Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017 swamped headlines.
Tim Paine (R) and wife Bonnie at the 2020 Australian Cricket Awards, where Paine was captaining the Test side through a dark time
The news almost led to a marriage breakdown with his wife Bonnie, who struggled to forgive her husband and the father to three of their children.
Paine, who is in the process of releasing his autobiography The Price Paid: A Story of Life, Cricket and Lessons Learned, said it was the release of cricket and the support of professional help that allowed him to recommit to family life.
Tim Paine and his wife Bonnie with their two children, during the 2021 Australian summer of cricket
The 37-year-old told The Australian’s Peter Lalor, who worked with the cricketer on his book, how hard it was to climb out of the deep rut he buried himself in.
‘I never thought I wasn’t putting my wife and family first, but when I took a step back it is ridiculous that I couldn’t see how selfish I was, how much in my own bubble I was,’ Paine said.
‘You think the whole cricket thing is your life until it is not and then you’re like, ‘Shit, what else have I got?’ and you haven’t got that either (cricket or marriage). That was a kick in the guts.
‘That period of my life, our life, still upsets me. I don’t like talking about it, I don’t like going back over it. It was bloody hard, but it was harder to see Bonnie trying to deal with it … it wasn’t because of her actions, she was within her rights to do that at that stage and I would probably have done the same.
‘I was broken at the time. One day I was in the garage and I saw the Cricket Australia bag on the shelf and the Tasmanian one next to it and became overcome by the urge to throw them out. Everything went – but fortunately my club kit was in another room and it survived.’
Paine executes a pull shot to the boundary for a four during the Sheffield Shield match against Queensland – Tasmania have lost both their opening season games
Making his Test debut with Steve Smith in 2010, Paine rose up the ranks with Tasmanian cricket as a no.1 keeper, but made his mark with the bat in short forms and changed his game.
Paine was on the brink of retirement in 2017, to take up a role with Kookaburra, manufacturing bats and other equipment, when he received a stunning call to join the Test ranks.
Yet, it was the same year when it was revealed that Paine had a sexting exchange with Cricket Tasmania employee Renee Ferguson, which came back to burn him at the peak of his powers.
Paine looks on during the fourth Test at The Gabba in Brisbane against India, January 19 2021
He was at the helm for 24-Test matches after inheriting the captaincy following the infamous sandpapergate scandal in South Africa that saw Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft banned from all cricket for lengthy periods.
The former Hobart Hurricane insists their relationship was completely consensual.
Paine and his wife Bonnie on honeymoon – the pair now have three children and life in Tasmania
Paine says he is now loving family life, with his three children, and is thankful wife Bonnie fought through a tough year.
The experienced gloves-man is now back for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield, but has struggled with the bat, logging a high score of *29 not out in three innings.