Dirty linen of The Ashes: Tim Paine recounts how he soiled himself before historic win
The Austraian Test captain described this dirty deed as something "(they, wicket keepers) tend to do for our team."
Though it is called the 'gentleman's game', history is witness to many mighty cricketers getting their hands dirty to secure a test-match win. Australian test captain Tim Paine is no different it seems, perhaps a lot dirtier even.
Tim Paine is the celebrated Aussie skipper, who is well-regarded for bringing back honour and pride back in the Australian test team after the darkest chapter of "sandpaper-gate" or the ball tampering scandal.
In a recent revelation made on the Keeping it Real podcast, Paine has shared how the last day of final Ashes test of 2019 was dirtier and more difficult than we knew.
It was day five of the fourth test match and victory was in the tourists’ sights. A victory so important that Amazon Prime would eventually pivot an entire documentary series on it. After all, The Aussies reached Old Trafford needing a win to secure the urn on English soil for the first time since 2001.
It was getting properly dark and gloomy on the fifth day of the Old Trafford test. Australia needed one more wicket with only few overs left in the day as dark clouds threatened to end the match early, either through rain or bad light.
But on the skipper's mind there was something more burdensome than this final wicket. It turns out that he really needed to use the bathroom at that point, but being the selfless test captain he is, Paine decided to go through the pain for the urn.
“I was feeling a little bit ill and there were some big, dark clouds rolling in over the grandstand and we only had about seven overs left and obviously we needed that one wicket,” Paine said. (There were) No drinks breaks left, umpires starting to talk to each other about (bad) light.
“I just had a horrible feeling that I needed to go to the toilet … it was (a) number two and so I basically just thought, ‘Righto, can’t waste any time, I’m gonna have to (go)’.
“I remember saying to Davey Warner, ‘I’m actually going to have to do this’, and did.”
Just in case that didn’t make it clear: Paine soiled himself with his teammate in the know, just before he would secure the top prize in the greatest rivarly in cricket.
“Unfortunately, it was one of those moments where the crowd went quite quiet,” he said. “Because I was a bit unwell, it was a bit runny and you could actually hear it hit the ground."
“That ball was bowled I think by Mitch Starc to big (Craig) Overton. Luckily he didn’t edge it because myself and David Warner literally had tears in our eyes, we could not stop laughing.”
Darren Berry, a former cricketer and participant in the podcast, who encouraged Paine to spill the beans having been tipped off about the story, put it bluntly.
“So you’re telling me, the Australian captain … and no one knows this, you were squatting down behind the stumps, the Ashes about to be secured, Tim Paine soiled himself?” he asked.
Paine answered: “Yep. A number of the boys do know about it, I think probably all. Certainly the slips cordon were aware of it.
“Normally, obviously, you’d run off but, I’m not kidding, there were rain clouds everywhere, it was six or seven overs left, we were down on overs. I just thought they’re (the umpires) going to call the game off here and we’re going to get stitched-up, so I couldn’t be running off the ground.
“I reckon JL (coach Justin Langer) would have knocked me out.”
As the Tasmanian keeper-batsman explained: “Us wicketkeepers, it’s what we tend to do for our team.”
The skipper had to reveal this story after Darren Berry spoke about the rumours he had heard about Paine peeing himself on the ground. Paine, of course, retorted saying that the pee was about six overs prior.
However, Paine is not first Australian who has had troubles with his bowels during the game. In 2017, young Australian opener Matthew Renshaw prioritised his No. 2 over his wicket and jogged off the field to have Steve Smith visible upset.
After all, we're all humans and we do human-ly things (?)