Tim Paine hints at next move after ‘emotional’ first-class retirement
Former Australia captain Tim Paine has spoken publicly for the first time since his retirement and revealed he could continue his playing career at domestic level next summer.
The 38-year-old wicketkeeper played his final Sheffield Shield game for Tasmania last week, leaving Blundstone Arena to a guard of honor from team-mates and opposition after a draw against Queensland.
Paine finished his first-class career with 296 dismissals, a Tasmanian record, in 95 Sheffield Shield matches after making his debut against South Australia in 2005.
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“It makes me very proud … it was very nice,” he told reporters in Hobart on Thursday.
“Also, my phone has gone berserk from all over the world, which is nice.
“I was a bit emotional at times reading some of the messages and social media stuff that people sent me because it went by very, very quickly.
“It’s an emotional time when you’re moving on from something you love to do and care about a lot, but I’ll still be involved in the game of cricket.”
Paine will captain the University in the two-day Cricket Tasmania Premier League final at Blundstone Arena this week, having finished the season with the highest first-grade batting average, scoring 381 runs at 95.25.
The veteran gloveman has suggested he wants to play another season at grade level, and hinted at a potential coaching gig with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.
“I’d be surprised if I wasn’t playing in some capacity next year,” Paine said.
“It will depend on availability and what I do next year, but definitely when I get the opportunity I will show up.
“I haven’t locked anything down and I’m probably going to be off for the next three or four months, but I’ve had a few small conversations with Cricket Tasmania, and I’ve had a few conversations with other people and some other industries as well.
“I’m not going to rush into what it looks like, but as I’ve talked a lot about my career, I’m passionate about Tasmanian cricket and I’m sure we’ll work something out.”
Tim Paine of the Tigers receives a guard of honour. Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images Source: Getty Images
Paine scored 4,114 Sheffield Shield runs at 28.17, smashing three centuries and 21 fifties. He also represented Australia in 35 Tests and served as captain for 23 matches between 2018 and 2021.
The right-hander won two Sheffield Shield titles with Tasmania, including the state’s first triumph in 2007. He captained the Tigers in 18 Sheffield Shield matches between 2010 and 2021, winning seven.
After stepping down from the Test side in the wake of revelations that he had sent explicit messages to a Cricket Tasmania employee, Paine has not been offered a state contract until the 2022/23 summer. However, he was selected for Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield opener against Queensland after stepping away from the sport for 10 months and playing seven first-class matches this season.
“Nobody’s perfect and I’ve definitely made some mistakes along the way,” Paine said.
“But I think people remember that most of that journey was a pretty positive time, so I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved in Tasmanian and Australian cricket.
“People always tell you it goes by really fast when you’re done, and I was always the kid in the back of the room who didn’t want to hear it, but it’s true, 22 years have flown by.
“But I loved coming back to my club and helping out and hopefully getting some kids from Tassie to achieve what I’ve achieved as well.”