Australian bowlers want Paine as wicketkeeper for Ashes - Lyon


Australia's bowlers want Tim Paine behind the stumps for the first Ashes Test against England because he's "the best goalkeeper in the world," said spin king Nathan Lyon on Thursday.

Paine quit the test captain last week in shame over a historic SMS scandal but is determined to keep playing. Voters will have to decide whether to let go of him and start over or show loyalty to keep him on the team for the opening match in Brisbane on December 8th.

Opener Marcus Harris said Wednesday that Paine had the support of the Australian squad and Lyon - just a wicket away from claiming 400 Test scalps - repeated it.

"Voters have always said they would pick the best XI available and I think Tim Paine is the best goalkeeper in the world," he said. “I know I want him. "Every bowler's relationship with (him) is extraordinary and Tim Paine is a very lovable guy and a very well respected guy in the locker room."

Lyon added that he "can 100 percent guarantee that he (Paine) will have the full support of the Australian locker room". "Tim made a mistake, he owned it, for me it shows great courage, to be honest."

Read More: Who will replace Tim Paine as Australia's test cricket captain?

Paine quit before posting a series of lewd text messages with a coworker in 2017. He was investigated at the time and acquitted of any violation of Cricket's Code of Conduct, but said he would resign as a skipper because his actions "did not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain".

His successor is to be announced, with Pat Cummins and Steve Smith leading the way to lead the squad.