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Cricket Tasmania has launched a stunning attack at Cricket Australia, accusing the national governing body of treating Tim Paine "appallingly" amid his resignation as Test captain over a sexting scandal.
Paine stood down from the role on Friday after it was revealed he sent sexualised messages and an inappropriate image to a female Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.
Cricket Tasmania chair Andrew Gaggin inferred Cricket Australia (CA) hasn't shown Paine enough loyalty and there is "palpable" anger among the state's cricket community and general public.
"Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town," he said on Tuesday.
"Yet, at a time when (Cricket Australia) should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable.
"The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago."
Lawry was famously dropped as a player and Test skipper in the early 1970s, finding out about the decision via reporters and not selectors.
Cricket Tasmania has previously said it became aware of the texts in mid-2018, with an investigation clearing Paine of Cricket Australia code of conduct breaches.
Gaggin said the Cricket Tasmania board, which includes former Test player David Boon, met on Monday and unanimously expressed support for Paine and "condemned" his treatment by CA.
"The Cricket Tasmania board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the code of conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated," he said.
CA has refused to comment in response, as it looks to appoint a new skipper.
Paine remains part of Australia's Ashes squad for the first Test against England on December 8.
He is returning from neck surgery for Tasmania in a four-day second XI fixture in Hobart after six months out.
The 36-year-old wicketkeeper was out for just one off two deliveries on Tuesday, after grabbing six catches behind the stumps on Monday.
Paine was appointed Test captain in early 2018 after the ball tampering saga, some months before Cricket Tasmania and Cricket Australia say they became aware of the texts.
Cricket Victoria chief executive, Nick Cummins, who was the boss of Cricket Tasmania when Paine was investigated, has stood by the process.
He said the investigation was held under the belief the story would eventually become public.
"The process that Cricket Australia used at the time was bulletproof. We were really satisfied that it was done the right way," he told SEN.
Cummins said Paine owned up when he initially called him about the woman's complaint.
Cummins described Paine's behaviour as completely inappropriate but said he was satisfied after the investigation that it didn't amount to sexual harassment.
"He's had three-and-a-half years to show he's a good husband and a good person. And people deserve an opportunity for atonement or redemption and I think he deserves that," Cummins said.
CA chairman Richard Freudenstein, who wasn't in the role in 2018, has said the current board would have stripped Paine of the captaincy.
Questions have been asked about the merits of keeping Paine in the side, considering he'll turn 37 when the first Ashes Test begins and his lack of match practice.
Chairman of selectors and Paine's close friend George Bailey has indicated he won't make a casting vote if fellow selector Tony Dodemaide and coach Justin Langer are split on whether to pick the Tasmanian.