‘We aren’t perfect’: Paine sorry for swearing at umpire
Tim Paine apologised on Monday night for swearing towards an umpire during the third Test but played down suggestions Australia were returning to their old ways on the field.
The Australia captain was fined 15 per cent of his match fee, losing about $3000, for urging "f—ing consistency" from the Decision Review System in an outburst towards umpire Paul Wilson that was picked up on the stump microphones.
On day five in Sydney, as Paine grew frustrated at dropping catches and India drew closer to denying Australia victory, he also clashed with Ravi Ashwin, replying to the spinner's cheeky suggestion the 36-year-old wouldn't make the next tour of the subcontinent by saying "at least my teammates like me d—head".
Since the restoration of the Australian team's image after the Cape Town ball-tampering affair, the national side has by and large been squeaky clean.
It hasn't been by accident: the reputational rebuild was designed in an effort to restore trust in a team whose behaviour had been on the slide before it hit rock bottom that afternoon at Newlands.
Paine said he regretted swearing at Wilson.
"We all know the stump mics are part of the broadcast. It’s great to bring the viewers that close," Paine said.
"Unfortunately I probably set a pretty poor example with my use of language. I was certainly disappointed with myself after I heard that.
"We know we have to be careful. I’ve had Paul Wilson umpire me [in interstate cricket] for a long time. I certainly didn’t mean to be disrespectful to him, it was just heat of moment. I need to be better than that. I know the stump mics are on and there’s a lot of kids watching and I need to set a better example."
Asked generally about the standards Australia had set in on-field behaviour since South Africa in 2018, Paine replied: "Sometimes when the stump mics are on, it’s going to happen unfortunately, that’s part of it. We try our best but we aren’t perfect. Occasionally if the worst thing we’ve done is let the odd f-bomb go, then I think we are going OK."
Paine was also questioned about his confidence in the game's decision-making technology, which he hasn't had a great relationship with. He said he was "fine with the DRS".
"It’s part of the game and we need to get better at it," he said.
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