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Cricket Australia chief backs Tim Paine to make Test return

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MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer Nick Hockley hopes Tim Paine returns to country’s Test side “as quickly as possible” after the wicket-keeper resigned from the captaincy because of his involvement in a “sexting” scandal.

Paine disrupted Australia’s Ashes preparations weeks before the start of the series when he stepped down as captain before it was announced he would take an indefinite break from the game, citing mental health issues.

“Would love to see him play again, for both his state and for Australia,” Hockley told SEN. “We want to see him back out there, playing and performing, as quickly as possible.”

Hockley added that the CA had sought to support Paine through the situation.

“The head coach has been down to see him. We’ve had members of our high-performance set-up go down to [Tasmania]. The Tasmanian cricket community have put their arms around him,” Hockley said.

“We are all very, very concerned … a lot of respect for Tim for owning his mistake and our job now is to really support him.”

Paine has also received support from Australia coach Justin Langer, who did not rule out a potential return to the international side for the 37-year-old.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021

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