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The Paine scandal will be a distraction during Ashes: Ponting

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said Tim Pain’s resignation from the captaincy as a result of the “sexting” scandal would “inevitably” be a distraction in the five Test Ashes series against England.

Pain left the post last Friday after the media investigated him, and in 2017 Cricket cleared out explicit sex messages sent to a former Tasmanian female colleague.

“I think inevitably (it’s going to be a distraction). He’s made a big call for himself, for Australian cricket and for the betterment of the Australian cricket team. But he’s not going to disappear,” Ponting said.

“It gets to a point where we would all like to disappear and never talk about it, it’s inevitable to be there.

“Unfortunately for Tim, they will ask him everywhere he goes … He will explode, and we hope he will spend enough time in Brisbane (for the first Test) to have a very good mental offer.”

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Australian spinner Nathan Lyon underestimated the impact Paine’s presence would have on the team.

“I don’t see it as a distraction at all,” Lyon told reporters on Thursday.

“Ultimately we are professional athletes. We know what we need to do and how we need to do it.”

The ashes will begin on December 8 in Gabban.

Ponting said Alex Carey could replace Paine if the 36-year-old is removed, but he backed Josh Inglis, who has not made his international debut, to become his long-term heir.

“I say I love Inglis; I think for a long time he will be a very good cricketer for Australia in whatever format they choose first, be it T20, day one or test cricket,” he added. Ponting.

Lyon, however, said he wanted Paine behind the motions.

“The selectors said we would pick the top 11 available and I think Tim Paine is the best goalkeeper in the world,” he said.

“This is very selfish from the point of view of a bowler. I want the best glove behind the balls.”

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