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Ex-Australian captain Tim Paine omitted from state contracts

The former Test captain has been on leave from playing since stepping down last year

SYDNEY: Former Australia captain Tim Paine’s playing career may be over, with the wicketkeeper omitted from Tasmania’s list of contracted players.

The 37-year-old cricketer stepped down as Test skipper in the leadup to the home Ashes series after a ‘sexting’ scandal and took an indefinite “mental health break” from the game.

After taking time away from cricket after his captaincy resignation, Paine returned to the Tasmanian fold as an assistant coach late last season. But his playing career remained uncertain until the release of the Tigers squad on Thursday.

A Cricket Tasmania spokesperson said on Thursday Paine was not given a contract by his home state because he was still on mental health leave from national governing body Cricket Australia.

Paine, 37, is understood to be keen to remain involved in cricket in a coaching or development role, but his on-field career appears to have ended.

He was accused by a former Cricket Tasmania receptionist of sending sexually explicit messages to her four years ago but the cricketer said they were consensual. The wicketkeeper was cleared by an internal investigation in 2018 which was not revealed to the public until late last year.

Paine’s accuser Renee Ferguson has launched a sexual harrassment claim against Cricket Tasmania. Ferguson has separately been accused of stealing money from Cricket Tasmania and her case is before a Hobart court. She denies the allegations.

Tasmania’s contract list remained largely stable with Billy Stanlake’s arrival from the Queensland the most significant move. Tim Ward, the promising opening batter, who was the team’s leading run-scorer last season with 552 at 39.42 signing a three-year deal. Peter Siddle will continue for one more season although has previously indicated it might be his last.

Tasmania men’s contracts Tom Andrews, Gabe Bell, Jackson Bird, Iain Carlisle, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, Brad Hope, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Sam Rainbird, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk, Billy Stanlake, Matthew Wade, Charlie Wakim, Tim Ward, Beau Webster, Mac Wright, Nick Davis (Rookie), Jarrod Freeman (Rookie), Mitch Owen (Rookie), Nivethan Radhakrishnan (Rookie)

In Nick Davis, Billy Stanlake | Out Tim Paine

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