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Tim Paine in a ‘good place’ for cricket return



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Former Australian Test skipper Tim Paine is as fit as ever and in a good place mentally, according to the coach of the Hobart grade cricket side for whom the former Australian Test captain will make his playing return.

Paine will play for University of Tasmania against New Town in a premier league 50-over game at Kingston on Sunday, 18 months after his last first-class match.

When a sexting controversy from late 2017 became public, the 37-year-old wicketkeeper walked away from the sport in the run-up to the 2021 Ashes series against England.

“He’s looking forward to playing and we’re thrilled to have him back,” Damien Wright, coach of University, Paine’s junior club, told AAP. “He’s as fit as he’s ever been. Mentally, he’s in a really good place as well. From all reports he’s been training the house down.

“I see him quite regularly. He knows there’s a bit of hype around it. It’s a great story – he’s still got plenty of cricket left in him, we believe.”

Paine has been training with the Tasmanian Tigers squad in recent months as an uncontracted player, with coach Jeff Vaughan indicating he was in the mix for selection in the Sheffield Shield.