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Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels the sexting scandal involving wicket-keeper batter Tim Paine will work as a distraction throughout the Ashes 2021/22 series.
Paine step down from captaincy last Friday after media exposures that he had been investigated and cleared over sexually explicit text messages sent to a female former colleague at Cricket Tasmania in 2017.
"I think it inevitably will (be a distraction). He's made a huge call for himself, for Australian cricket and for the betterment of the Australian cricket team. But it's not going to go away," Ponting told a Cricket Australia website.
"As much as we would all love to see it go away and there comes a point where it's never talked about, it's inevitable that it's going to be there,”
The first Ashes Test will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane. Australia hasn’t played a single Test match since losing the Test series to India 1-2 at home in January.
Ponting said the players should not get distracted and stay focused on the game even if Paine plays the first Test. However, the former skipper feels that the Tasmania player will definitely be questioned about the incident wherever he goes to play.
“If he plays in Brisbane (for the first Test), the rest of the group and everyone needs to move on and do the best they can to forget about it and knuckle down,”
"Unfortunately for Tim he's going to get asked about it everywhere he goes ... It will blow over and hopefully it passes in enough time to have some really good clear headspace going into Brisbane (for the first test)," he added.