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The fallout to the Tim Paine sexting scandal has done little to dampen enthusiasm that Australia will retain the Ashes in the five-match series against England.
On Friday, Paine announced he was stepping down as captain of the Australian test team in the midst of the revelation of his text message exchange with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague to the entire nation.
His decision to step down as skipper of the test team came little more than two weeks away from the opening test of the Ashes at the Gabba on December 8.
It leaves the team captain-less in the build-up to the first test in Brisbane and with doubts over whether or not a new wicketkeeper will be called up with question marks over Paine's place in the team now not the skipper.
Paine himself has expressed his desire to remain part of the test team, but that decision will need to be taken when the first test squad is named by selectors and coach Justin Langer.
The controversy of his departure has done little to the Ashes betting tips markets, with Australia still firm favourites to make it three series victories in a row on home soil and once again ensure the urn remains on these shores.
The Baggy Greens have marginally drifted in the betting to win the Ashes series, but it is negligible having gone from $1.30 favourites to $1.33 in the aftermath of the Paine scandal.
Even with the unneeded disruption for Australia, England are being given little chance as $5.25 outsiders with a drawn series deemed highly unlikely being priced at $8.
There are question marks to answer for Australia after dramatically losing their four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series with India last summer when throwing away a 1-0 lead to go down 2-1 in the most dramatic of finales.
Paine was at the centre of things then too, sledging Ravichandran Ashwin during the drawn Sydney test with the words "see you at the Gabba". The series decider was held in Brisbane where Australia had not lost at the Gabba since 1988, but the tourists made Paine eat his words as they pulled off the unlikely.
As is tradition, the Ashes series will get underway at the Gabba and bookmakers are not expecting England to match the victory India managed in Brisbane.
Australia are $1.33 to win the first of the five tests with England priced at $5.00 and a drawn match available at $9.00.
When it comes to the series as a whole, Australia 3-1 is the most likely scoreline at $5.50 ahead of 4-1 and 4-0 at $7.00 each. A one-sided 5-0 whitewash is available at $8.00, as is a 3-2 series victory for the hosts.
A 2-2 draw is next at $8.50 with any winning series score for England at long odds. It is $15 for England 3-2, the same as a 2-1 and 3-0 victory for Australia, with $21 available for England 3-1 and $23 for England 2-1.
Not even an internal scandal, the stepping down of captain Paine two weeks out from the opening test and uncertainty of who will lead the side in Brisbane have helped England's chances...if the oddsmakers have it right.
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