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Lyon is latest team-mate to support Paine

Spinner Nathan Lyon is the latest Australia player to voice his support for Tim Paine after the wicketkeeper resigned from the captaincy just weeks before the Ashes series begins.

Paine resigned on Friday over a historical investigation into sexually explicit texts to a female colleague but remains in the squad – and Lyon says he has the team’s “full support”.

“The selectors said they were going to pick the best available XI,” he said. “In my eyes, Tim Paine is the best keeper in the world.”

Batter Marcus Harris said previously that Tasmania’s Paine had “got all the support of the players” as they prepare to start the Ashes series against England in Brisbane on 8 December.

Messages sent by Paine to a female Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017 came to light as part of a misconduct investigation and he stepped down after he learned his texts were set to be revealed publicly.

Paine was appointed captain of the Australia Test team in 2018 following Steve Smith’s ban over a ball-tampering scandal.

Cricket Tasmania has criticised Cricket Australia’s treatment of Paine as the “worst of an Australia Test captain in 50 years” after it initially cleared him of wrongdoing when allegations were made in 2018.

Lyon, who has played 100 Tests and taken 399 Test wickets, said Paine was a “very lovable guy and very well respected”.

“Every bowler’s relationship with the keeper is exceptional,” said the New South Wales bowler.

“This is very selfish – from a bowler’s point of view I want the best gloveman behind the stumps.

“I’m pretty sure I’m speaking on behalf of every bowler that we want the best keeper.”

Lyon added: “He’s got my full support and I 100% guarantee he’s got the full support of the Australian changing room.”

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