Tim Paine recently stepped down from his role as the Australian Test skipper, a couple of weeks away from the Ashes due to an off-field scandal.

What happened exactly?

A scandal in 2017 emerged when Tim Paine sent explicit texts to a female co-worker at Cricket Tasmania. Cricket Australia chair Richard Freudenstein said: 

"Tim felt it was in the best interests of his family and Australian cricket to take this decision to step down as captain. While the Board acknowledges an investigation cleared Tim of any breach of the code of conduct regarding this matter some years ago, we respect his decision. CA does not condone this type of language or behavior."

He also mentioned that Paine was great throughout the tenure and he will be available for selection for the Ashes.

Tim Paine held a press conference in which he said, "Today, I'm announcing my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian men's test team. It's an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket."

"As background on my decision, nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague. At the time, the exchange was the subject of a thorough CA Integrity Unit investigation, throughout which I fully participated in."

"That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR Investigation at the same time found that there had been no breach of the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct. Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today."

"I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support. We thought this incident was behind us and that I could focus entirely on the team, as I have done for the last three or four years." 

"However, I recently became aware that this private text exchange was going to become public. On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community. I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused to my wife, my family, and to the other party. I'm sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport."

"And I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately. I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes Series."

Tim Paine stats as Australia Test skipper

Matches RunsAverageHighest score 100s/50sStrike Rate 

Australia have played 23 matches, winning 11, losing 8, while 4 were drawn.

So who are the possible replacements?

Before you say something, we know that Pat Cummins has already been roped in as Australia's Test skipper but could the CA have approached David Warner or Steve Smith to take the captaincy role?

Considering the fact that the Ashes is not just another Test series but holds immense importance. Steve Smith could've been a genuine option, with his record of 18 wins in 34, 10 losses, while six were drawn.

Smith's record as Australian skipper

MatchesRunsAverage Strike Rate 100s/50sHighest Score

David Warner has captained Australia in just five matches, 3 ODIs, and 2 T20Is. What do you think? How will Pat Cummins fare as the Australian skipper? Will the added responsibility affect his bowling? Let us know your thoughts via your social media accounts.

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Cover Credits: CricketAustralia