Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said Tim Paine's resignation from the captaincy due to a 'sexting' scandal will "inevitably" be a distraction during the five-test Ashes series against England.
Paine stood down from the role last Friday after media revelations he had been investigated and cleared over sexually explicit text messages sent to a female former colleague at Cricket Tasmania in 2017.
"I think it inevitably will (be a distraction). He's made a huge call for himself, for Australian cricket and for the betterment of the Australian cricket team. But it's not going to go away," Ponting told a Cricket Australia website.
"As much as we would all love to see it go away and there comes a point where it's never talked about, it's inevitable that it's going to be there.
"Unfortunately for Tim he's going to get asked about it everywhere he goes ... It will blow over and hopefully it passes in enough time to have some really good clear headspace going into Brisbane (for the first test)."
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon played down the impact Paine's presence would have on the team.
"I don't see it as a distraction at all," Lyon told reporters on Thursday.
"At the end of the day we are professional athletes, we know what we've got to do and how we've got to go about it."
The Ashes begins on Dec. 8 at the Gabba.