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Former Australia skipper Tim Paine ends exile with first-class comeback | Cricket News

MELBOURNE: Former Australia captain Tim Paine will end his long absence from elite cricket next week with the wicketkeeper making his Sheffield Shield comeback with Tasmania.
Paine stepped down from the Test captaincy last November after revelations that he was being investigated in 2018 for sending lewd text messages to a former female receptionist at the state governing body Cricket Tasmania.
He then withdrew from the game to face an indefinite “mental health break” and was dropped from Tasmania’s contract list in May.
Paine returned to training with Tasmania in August and was included on Tuesday in their 13-man roster for the Shield clash against Queensland starting Thursday, with captain and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade unavailable due to international commitments.
Paine, who played his last first-class match in April 2021, was set to lead Australia into the Ashes series last year until the ‘sexting’ allegations became public.
He was replaced by fast bowler Pat Cummins as captain, with Alex Carey taking his place behind the stumps.
Paine, who said his texting to the former Cricket Tasmania staffer was consensual, was cleared by an internal Cricket Australia investigation in 2018, which was only revealed to the public late last year.

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