Paine ends BBL exile as Canes close in on star imports
Hobart complete their domestic signings for BBL|10 with two more internationals expected to sign on later this week
16 November 2020, 09:00 AM AEST
Australia Test captain Tim Paine will come out of his self-imposed Big Bash exile and return to the competition for the first time in three years this summer.
Paine spent last summer's KFC BBL season in the commentary box for the Seven Network but has signed on for a playing return with the Hobart Hurricanes in BBL|10.
Last year, after an exhausting winter that included an Ashes tour, Paine said he was stepping away from the T20 arena to focus on red-ball cricket. But he's decided to make a brief appearance this summer at the backend of the tournament.
The 35-year-old will, of course, spend the bulk of his summer leading Australia in the four-match Vodafone Test series against India but would at the least be available for the club's final three games of the season, and any subsequent finals campaign.
Paine, who last played a T20 match in the Hurricanes' defeat to the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL|07 final, is a veteran of 80 T20 games, including 12 with Australia and said he was "thrilled to be back with the Hurricanes for this 10th edition of the Big Bash League".
"The Canes have been one of the strongest teams in the competition over the past couple of seasons, so to have a small opportunity to be a part of and contribute to that environment where required is something I'm really looking forward to," Paine said.
"The talent in our squad is phenomenal, and as a proud Tasmanian, there's no team I would rather make my return to the Big Bash with than Tasmania's team."
His signing, which continues a recent spree of announcements by the Hurricanes, completes the domestic players on Hobart's roster. The club has two international roster spots to announce later this week, with the Daily Mail reporting that Nepalese leg-spinner and former Melbourne Stars player, Sandeep Lamichhane, will fill one of those spots.
English pair Dawid Malan and Will Jacks as well as South African Colin Ingram have already signed for the Hurricanes this season, while Peter Handscomb has joined from the Stars.
With a host of young talent in the ranks, Paine's role will be to lend some experience to the change room, as well as providing an educational and inspirational presence for the club.
Cricket Tasmania CEO Dominic Baker said: "Tim won't be able to be with the squad for their entire BBL|10 campaign due to his international commitments, however, we believe what he brings the team from an experience perspective is invaluable, and he will be a great asset for the continual off-field development of our group as well."
Hobart have recruited heavily ahead of this season, the first to allow clubs to field three internationals, and have added eight new names to their roster this year, with two further internationals to come.
Of the 16 domestic players on Hobart's list, eight are 25 or younger, including two teenagers in Victoria rookie spinner Wil Parker and allrounder Mitch Owen, a local product who is also on a rookie contract with Tasmania this summer, underlining the value of having experienced campaigner Paine around the squad.
Paine joins Mitchell Starc and Marnus Labuschagne as Test players to commit to new BBL deals this season.
Paine had an extended off-season at home in Hobart when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the game, with Australia's two-Test tour of Bangladesh postponed. He had his first taste of cricket's 'bubble' life with the recent Marsh Sheffield Shield hub, where he played four matches with Tasmania.
Fellow Test star Steve Smith has already ruled himself out of playing in this summer's tournament while David Warner and Pat Cummins also look set to again bypass the tournament.
Hobart Hurricanes BBL|10 squad (so far): Scott Boland, Tim David, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Dawid Malan (ENG), Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, David Moody, Mitch Owen, Tim Paine, Wil Parker, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (c), Nick Winter, Mac Wright.