Paine vows Australia will scale back on sledging

Tim Paine Australia will cut back on sledging cricket

Tim Paine: “I think what’s said and how it’s said will be very different going forward”

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New Australia Test captain Tim Paine has made it abundantly clear that his side will tone down their sledging tactics going forward.

Paine’s vow comes after Australia’s image became stained and tainted following the ball tampering scandal that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft be banned by Cricket Australia.

It is understood that Warner played a leading role in the scandal, which occurred on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, as he told Bancroft to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper.

As a result, Warner and Smith were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months. Smith also won’t be allowed to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles in the future.

When asked if sledging will continue to be part of Australia’s gameplan, Paine was quoted by cricket.com.au as saying: “No, I don’t think it will, not a lot. I think there’s always a time and a place to talk to your opposition, but I think what’s said and how it’s said will be very different going forward.

“A lot of this stuff we were actually starting to speak about under Steve (Smith’s captaincy) already. A lot of the players had their head around the fact we needed to change the way we play. Some of those conversations were already being had.

“I’m really looking forward to playing that role and winning back the trust and respect of our fans and the Australian public first and foremost. That’s a really exciting thing for our playing group.

“(Smith) is someone I’ll certainly be speaking too quite closely about how we go about it and keeping him in the loop. Because we’d started to have these discussions a few months ago and Steve was keen for the team to start playing a different style. So for me it’s about carrying that on.”

With a six-month break until their next Test series, Paine feels it provides a large window for players to assess themselves and shed the ways of how the national team used to play.

“We’ll have a new coach going forward, we’re going to have some time off where guys can take stock and think about the way they want to play,” he said. “But certainly, playing international cricket you’ve got to be as competitive as you can be. But we’ve got to look at different ways of doing that and more respectful ways of putting opposition teams under the pump.

“Part of what we spoke about a lot is playing on skill, not emotion. I think in the last couple of years at times we’ve been a touch too emotional and got carried away on that side of the game. That’s a small thing we can improve on.”

While Paine acknowledged that tweaks are needed to restore the image of the team, he insisted that mammoth changes aren’t necessary.

“I don’t think it’s as disastrous as it’s been made out,” he said. “We’ve had this incident which has brought everything to a head.

“During the Ashes there wasn’t a lot said about our culture and looking back it’s just a few little things we can tweak and do a little bit better as a team. If we do that then I think the Australian public will jump back on board pretty quickly. That’s one of our main aims for this coming summer.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been blown out of proportion. It was certainly bigger than we anticipated. Even in South Africa, until we got back, guys probably didn’t realise the magnitude of it.

“The public and sponsors have the right to say and do what they like when something like that happens. We have to cop on the chin and rebuild the trust.”

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