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Australian Test captain Tim Paine resigns amid sexting scandal

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Tim Paine has resigned as captain of the Australian men’s cricket team

Australian cricket’s Tim Paine has stood down as captain after being investigated by Cricket Australia over sending a co-worker an explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages.

It’s an extreme turnaround for the the 36-year-old who was of course promoted to captain following the ball tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018, he’s now resigned in shame ahead of the Ashes.

Cricket Australia chairman 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.

Speaking to media in Hobart on Friday afternoon, Paine confirmed he had stepped down as Australian Test captain with immediate effect.

“It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,” he said.

“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 and openly 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.

“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.

The announcement comes less than three weeks out from the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, which is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, December 8.

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Simona Halep suffers a panic attack and a loss at French Open

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Two-time grand slam champ is knocked out of the French Open when struck by a panic attack

The Romanian tennis star losses in three sets to 19-year-old Chinese player Qinwen Zheng.

Halep looked comfortable as she cruised through the first set and was up a break in the second.

But Zheng quickly recovered to win the second set and began to dictate the match in the third.

The 2018 French Open champion suddenly called the trainer and asked to have her pulse and blood pressure taken.

After receiving an all clear the 30-year-old continued with the match but looked very uneasy against the Chinese youngster.

She was struggling for breath and had to call for doctors a second time in the third set.

The 19-year-old went on to win the match 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 and advanced into the third round of the championship.

Halep left the court immediately with medical staff before returning to address the media.

She then admitted to having a panic attack during the match which she couldn’t control.

“I didn’t expect [that] because it was just a panic attack,” says Halep.

“I didn’t know how to handle it, because I don’t have it often.”

“I don’t really know why it happened, because I was leading the match. I was playing well. But it just happened. I couldn’t focus.”

Halep is the latest big name to roll out of Roland Garros, with American Danielle Collins also losing on Friday.

This comes as seven top-ten female seeds have now been knocked out of the tournament ahead of round-three.

Danaya Malenda contributed to this report.

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Andy Murray weighs in on the Wimbledon points dispute

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A Wimbledon champion says the tournament “will never feel like an exhibition”, after a decision to remove ranking points

The ATP and WTA recently stripped Wimbledon of ranking points in response to the All England Lawn and Tennis Club’s ban on Russian and Belarussian athletes.

There has been widespread outcry amongst players following the move, with many branding the competition an “exhibition”.

Prominent players including Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic have been critical of the decision.

But Andy Murray has taken to Twitter to defend the legitimacy of the tournament.

The 35-year-old says most people watching on centre court “wouldn’t know or care about how many ranking points a player gets for winning a 3rd round match”.

“But I guarantee they will remember who wins. Wimbledon will never be an exhibition and will never feel like an exhibition. The end.”

Andy Murray

Naomi Osaka, speaking on Monday after her loss in the opening round of the French Open, was critical of the decision.

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” she says.

“Whenever I think something is like an exhibition, I just can’t go at it 100 per cent.”

“I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing” she adds.

World Number one Novak Djokovic, who called the ban on Russian and Belarussian athletes “crazy”, says he’s “glad” there are consequences for the tournament.

But he remains concerned he will be unable to defend the points he received for winning the championship in 2021.

“On a personal, individual level, I have been very negatively affected by that,” he says.

“It’s hard, really… it’s kind of, I would say, lose-lose situation for everyone.”

Bryan Hoadley contributed to this report

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Chelsea FC $5.33bil bid approved

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A takeover bid for Chelsea football club has been approved by the Premier League

46-year-old American Todd Boehly’s $5.33 U.S. billion dollar deal is given the go-ahead. 

The L.A. Dodgers co-owner heads a multi-billion dollar consortium.

The club came up for grabs when the former owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich was sanctioned amid the war in Ukraine. 

A takeover has been hanging in the balance but now Premier League bosses have given their approval to Boehly passing the required owners and directors tests with flying colours. 

However, it’s not signed, sealed and delivered yet the purchase remains subject to U.K. Government approval. 

Regardless, a takeover must go through by May 31 for Chelsea to compete in next season’s Champions League.

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