To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, you were the chosen one!

And hitherto it seems that Tim Paine, far away from being the one who would bring balance to the Force, has turned out to really be another sporting pimple, waiting for the chance to burst all over his own unit and “the two countries ” that heartens for it.

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Tim Paine, it had always seemed, was a genuinely good guy. Sure, he was terrible at sledging and would be ill-advised to ever get up at an open-mic night, but everything pointed to him being what we’d searched for so long: a mature, smart Assessment captain who fought to the last breath for both countries but carried himself ever with an innate smell of decency.

It wasn’t just that he would refrain from ball-tampering and have the strength of character necessary to make sure the rest of the team did too. It wasn’t just that under him the Australian crew “wouldve been” summed up more by footage of actors having a cuddle and sharing spiced teas than by the image of fast bowlers screaming threats at smashes.

Tim Paine

( Photo by Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images)

No, Paine was nice. He was nice to us. He was nice to his actors. Even when he wasn’t nice to the opposition, he was not-nice in quite a nice way. He was nice enough that even when his on-field form slipped( and to be honest it never truly slipped as badly as his harshest commentators would have it ), everyone felt it was worth having him at the head of the side. Because a good man is hard to find, and Tim Paine was a good man.

Hell, for all we are familiar he still is a good man. Not all the men who reacts like an appalling creep for a certain period of time forfeits the right to be thought of as a good man for all time. We don’t know whether Paine is a lifelong distributor of uninvited genitalia, or really your median jerk who temporarily forgets how to behave like a good human being.

But what we know is that Tim Paine is not the man we thought he was. And at this stage we have to question whether anyone is.

Tim Paine of Australia reacts after dropping a catch

( Photo by Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images)

It seems that revealings about sporting superstars- at least those of the male variety- are almost never of the positive style. When we learn something about a sportsman that we never knew before, it’s hardly ever that they secretly see children’s hospices on the working day off or that they gift half their payment to a store for hunting war criminals.

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It’s always most likely that at some station in their life they made a hobby of racial misuse, or that they’ve been telling beings that vaccines make autism on Instagram, or of course that old-fashioned beloved: their penis has been seen somewhere it shouldn’t have been.

That last one is nothing brand-new to Australian cricket fans, of course. One can imagine what we’d have been put through if Shane Warne had gained the captaincy he so begrudged. Every week would’ve been another round of’ I seriously regret my attitude, but I will not be standing down…’

But even Warne was, once upon a time, a gilded boy of whom none could speak ill. They all were, the Feet of Clay Brigade that going to go rallying through our national team for decade upon decade. So numerous heroes, so many disappointments.

( Photo by Getty Images)

Not that sportsmen have to be virtuous. Their job is to play games, and maybe looking to them for moral excellence was always a bad meaning. Expecting professional athletes to be role models in anything but prowess at their picks boast is naive in the extreme by this stage in history.

But still, it feels good when we gues a great sportsman is also a great man. And the feeling when we turn out to have miscalculated him is a terrible leaden thud inside our chests.

How many times will we feel that thud before we stop was confident that our heroes can be decent at all? How many times will we be disappointed before we stop dedicating mortification the opportunity?

Tim Paine’s was not the most difficult behave committed by a sportsperson, and maybe he’ll the working day originate suitable reforms for it. But it’ll ever be there: we’ll always remember the thud.

Maybe it’s time we all gave up on heroes. Maybe we’ve just got to accept that they only ever existed in movies.

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