Former Australia captain Tim Paine omitted from state contracts

MELBOURNE: Former Australia captain Tim Paine’s playing career may be over, with the wicketkeeper omitted from Tasmania’s list of contracted players. Paine, 37, 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.

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 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.

He 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.