Former Australia captain Tim Paine calls time on his first-class career following Tasmania’s draw with Queensland in the final Sheffield Shield round of the season.

Image Credit: Outlook India

Former Australia captain Tim Paine said a sad farewell to first-class cricket after Tasmania’s tie with Queensland in the final Sheffield Shield match of the season, bringing an 18-year career to an end.
Paine, 38, had made no public declaration that he was playing his final match, but he had informed the Tasmania team that the game against Queensland would be his last.

Paine was accorded a guard of honour as he exited Bellerive Oval for the final time following the early ending of the match after both captains agreed to halt it after only 62 overs of the last day with a result not attainable.
He did not hold a press conference following the game. Instead, Tasmania captain Jordan Silk left it to confirm Paine’s retirement from first-class cricket.

“He’s been a fantastic player,” Silk remarked. “I believe he has 22 years of professional cricket experience. It takes much work to live as long as he has. He will undoubtedly be missed behind the stumps. I won’t play, and many current players will agree that there will never be another keeper in Australia as good as Tim Paine. So we’ve been quite fortunate down here. And we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

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Silk was full of praise for Paine, who played this final season without a contract after a difficult time off the pitch in 2021-22 when he resigned as Test captain.
“Given his age, the degree of keeping and generation he’s still been able to generate has been astounding,” Silk added. “He’s usually someone you know is working behind the scenes. I believe he sets a terrific example for all our men regarding work ethic and other things.”

Paine’s career concludes with 154 first-class matches for Tasmania, including 35 Tests and 95 Sheffield Shield outings. With 296 Shield dismissals, he holds the record for the most Shield dismissals by a Tasmania wicketkeeper in Shield cricket and is 12th all-time in Shield wicketkeeping dismissals.
He amassed 6490 first-class runs at 29.63, including three centuries, the greatest of which was 215. In 35 Tests, he averaged 32.63 and scored nine half-centuries, although he never scored a Test century. He finished 157 Test dismissals.

After the Sandpaper debacle in Cape Town, he led Australia magnificently, captaining the Test side in 23 matches between 2018 and 2021. He also retained the Ashes in a drawn-away series in England in 2019.
His Test career was cut short in 2017 after it was found that he had exchanged inappropriate text messages with a Cricket Tasmania staffer. Cricket Tasmania and Cricket Australia absolved him of any wrongdoing at the time, but when the text messages were leaked on the eve of the 2021-22 Ashes series, he resigned as Test captain and took a leave of absence from the game.

Paine never played another Test match and was dropped from the CA and Tasmania contract lists in 2022. In 2022, he published a memoir admitting to his off-field mistakes but claimed he was left out to dry by CA.
However, he played six more first-class matches for Tasmania during the 2022-23 season.
He appeared in two of Tasmania’s three Sheffield Shield victories, in 2007 and 2013, scoring 87 against Queensland. Due to injury, he was unable to compete in 2011.

Paine also played 35 One-Day Internationals for Australia, captaining five of them during the 2018 tour to England. He scored an ODI century and was a member of Australia’s Champions Cup victory in 2009. He represented Tasmania in two Australia One-Day domestic tournaments in 2008 and 2010. In 2010, he was named player of the final after hitting 100 off 118 balls against Victoria at the MCG. He also appeared in 12 Twenty20 Internationals for Australia.

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