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‘Extremely concerned’: Tim Paine takes leave of absence from all cricket | Australia cricket team

Tim Paine will take a leave of absence from all cricket “for the foreseeable future”, throwing into serious doubt his availability for the Ashes less than two weeks before the series starts.

A week after Paine stepped down as Australian Test captain his manager, James Henderson, announced the news and said he was worried about the wellbeing of Paine and his wife, Bonnie, after details of a text message scandal became public.

“Confirming that @tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break,” Henderson posted on Twitter. “We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie’s wellbeing and will be making no further comment at this time.”

Paine last week clarified he remained available for Ashes selection, indicating his desire to end his Test career on the “ultimate high” of an Australian series defence at home.

The veteran wicket-keeper batsman had been expected to join the Test squad this weekend ahead of the first of five Tests, which begins in Brisbane on 8 December.

He was called up and set to bat at first drop in Tasmania’s one-dayer against Western Australia on Friday, giving him a chance to play five consecutive days of cricket after a low-key return via the state’s second XI.

But Cricket Tasmania on Friday confirmed the 36-year-old will step away from the game.

“Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future,” Cricket Tasmania said in a statement.

“Tim’s decision makes him unavailable for selection for today’s Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia. His place in the squad will be taken by Charlie Wakim.

“Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer.”

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