Australia's captain Tim Paine 7
Australia's captain Tim Paine throws a ball during a practice session at the Gabba Cricket Ground in Brisbane, ahead of their first day-night Test match against Sri Lanka on January 24. Image Credit: AFP

Australia's Paine set to play first match since sexting scandal

Sydney: Former Australia captain Tim Paine is set to play his first top-level game since a "sexting" scandal ended his international career, with the wicketkeeper included Tuesday in Tasmania's squad for a Sheffield Shield tie.

Paine quit as Test captain last November on the eve of the Ashes campaign against England when lewd text messages he sent to a female colleague in 2017 were about to be made public.


The bombshell announcement was a followed a week later by Paine taking leave from all forms of cricket for the "foreseeable future" amid concerns about the mental wellbeing of a player previously seen as squeaky-clean.

But he never retired and was named in Tasmania's 13-man squad for their Shield match against Queensland in Brisbane from Thursday.

Paine is set to take the gloves with Matthew Wade on Australian duty ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup later this month, and will face a Queensland team boasting former Test colleagues Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne.

The 37-year-old has been training as an uncontracted player with the Tasmanian state team, and made a return in lower-level cricket last weekend with his club side.

Paine was appointed to repair Australia's reputation after the 2018 "Sandpaper-gate" ball-tampering scandal which rocked world cricket and cost Steve Smith the captaincy.