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After an 18-year rollercoaster career, former Australia cricket captain Tim Paine has quietly retired from first-class cricket. Paine did not make a public announcement but let his Tasmania team know that his final match would be against Queensland. The match concluded in a draw, and Paine was given a guard of honour as he left Bellerive Oval for the last time. Tasmania captain Jordan Silk confirmed that Paine was ending his first-class career, praising him for his phenomenal talent and longevity.
Paine played 154 first-class matches, including 35 Tests and 95 Sheffield Shield appearances for Tasmania. He holds the record for the most Shield dismissals by a Tasmania wicketkeeper in Shield cricket with 296 and finishes 12th all-time on the Shield wicketkeeping dismissals list. He scored 6490 first-class runs at 29.63 with three centuries, including a best of 215. In Tests, he averaged 32.63 with the bat, made nine half-centuries, and completed 157 Test dismissals.
Tim Paine and controversies
Paine’s career had its ups and downs. He admirably led Australia post the Sandpaper saga in Cape Town, captaining the Test side in 23 matches between 2018 and 2021, including retaining the Ashes in a drawn away series in England in 2019. However, his Test career ended abruptly when it was revealed he had sent explicit text messages to a Cricket Tasmania employee in 2017. He was cleared of any wrongdoing by Cricket Tasmania and Cricket Australia at the time, but the text messages were publicised on the eve of the 2021-22 Ashes series.
He stepped down from his position as Test captain and opted for a break from the sport. As a result, Paine never returned to playing Test cricket, and in 2022, he was excluded from both CA and Tasmania’s contract lists. In his 2022 memoir, Paine revealed his off-field mistakes and also accused CA of leaving him to fend for himself.
Despite this, he participated in six more first-class matches for Tasmania during the 2022-23 season. In the past, he played a vital role in two of Tasmania’s three Sheffield Shield victories in 2007 and 2013, contributing 87 runs in the 2013 championship against Queensland. Due to an injury, he was unable to participate in the 2011 victory.
Paine represented Australia in 35 ODIs, including captaining the team in five games during the 2018 tour of England. He also scored a century in an ODI match and played a significant role in Australia’s 2009 Champions Trophy success. Furthermore, he was part of Tasmania’s two domestic one-day title-winning teams in 2008 and 2010, and in the 2010 final against Victoria at the MCG, he was named player of the match after scoring 100 runs off 118 deliveries. Additionally, Paine participated in 12 T20Is for Australia.
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