Tim Paine: Australia pre-match handshakes show sportsmanship and respect

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New Australia captain Tim Paine organised for his side to shake hands with their South African counterparts in a bid to usher in a new era.

Paine has been tasked with leading Australia in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal which has rocked not just the team but the country.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-skipper David Warner lost their jobs and were banned for a year, while Cameron Bancroft was banned for nine months. Coach Darren Lehmann has quit and will leave his post after the final Test which started on Friday.

Before his resignation, Lehmann admitted Australia needed a new approach, having been widely criticised for their on-field attitude.

And Paine, speaking after Australia reduced South Africa to 313 for six, said the handshakes were the first step in the transformation.

“I’ve been watching SuperSport this week and they’ve had the soccer on and I notice they do that (shake hands) every game,” Paine told reporters after the day’s play.

“I thought cricket is the gentleman’s game and I spoke to our players about how it was something I wanted to bring in.

“It’s not something we are going to do every Test match but I think it is not a bad way to start a Test series.

“I think it’s something that we will use going forward, I just think it’s a good show of sportsmanship and respect.

“It’s something we want to take forward and if other teams want to do we’ll do it to start every series.”

Paine felt that was not the case in Johannesburg.

“It was still competitive,” Paine added.

“There wasn’t too much verbal going on back and forth between the two sides.

“We’ve spoken a bit about that as a group, about that going forward, that is not the way we are going to play our cricket.

Tim Paine is Australia's new captain
Tim Paine is Australia’s new captain (Themba Hadebe/AP)

Echoing the comments of the outgoing Lehmann, Paine admitted Australia need to stop pushing the boundaries of what is right and wrong.

He also added there were few players in his team who enjoy sledging.

“We’ve got to be more respectful of the game of cricket and at times we’ve tended to push the boundaries as far as we possibly could,” he said.

“I think that we’ve seen that people probably don’t like that, so it’s time for us to change. We’re happy to do that.

“I think it actually suits this group of players, we’re a different group of players than Australia have had for a long time, we haven’t got too many guys that like to verbalise and have that sort of really hard-nosed Australian approach.”

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