Cricket shutdown could extend playing careers: Paine
Australia's Test skipper says the enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic could help him play on for another two years
27 April 2020, 12:20 PM AEST
Australia Test captain Tim Paine has said the current coronavirus-enforced break from cricket could help prolong his playing career and indicated he intends to play on "for a year or two".
Paine was famously on the verge of accepting a job with cricket gear manufacturer Kookaburra before his stunning late-career revival saw him return to the Test team, and ascended to the captaincy of the national team in 2018 in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
He's won plaudits and immense respect for his leadership and the way, along with head coach Justin Langer, they have steered the Australian team back to both a position of respect, and power, including becoming the first side since Steve Waugh's team in 2001 to retain the Ashes on English soil.
Paine, who has been spending his time in Hobart with his wife Bonnie and young family while all cricket is shutdown, is eager for a rematch with India this summer after June's two-Test tour of Bangladesh was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But rather than having the absence of cricket making Paine contemplate a life after his playing days, the 35-year-old says he is buoyed by his return to form at the back end of the summer.
"I'm absolutely loving the role and the job I've got at the moment. I'm feeling really good, I started to play really well again at the back end of last summer," Paine said on ABC Radio.
"This rest may do a number of us the world of good. We can hopefully keep the Test team together that we've had over the last year and keep building on the momentum that we've got.
"I certainly plan to be a part of the next little bit of that future."
Paine, long renowned for his wicketkeeping ability, notched his highest Test score on Australian soil when he hit 79 in the Boxing Day Test, and followed it up with a 68 and unbeaten 48 on his return to Sheffield Shield cricket with Tasmania after the Test summer.
Paine made his first foray into the commentary box in a stint with the Seven network last summer during the KFC BBL but hinted that his post-playing days could see him involved with Tasmanian cricket.
"I've got plans and things that I want to do post cricket," Australia's 46th Test captain said.
"I think I've got a fair bit to offer back here in Tas when my Test career ends in a year or two."
Paine said cricket would have to be wary of the longer-term effects of cost cutting required to see the game through the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with states facing reductions in their distributions from Cricket Australia's head office.
"Tasmania have always done very well on a smallish budget. We're no different to the big states and CA; people are going to have to be creative going forward," Paine said of the financial impacts.
"The same as all the footy codes, in the way you look at your youth pathway systems and how you're trying to develop your best talent.
"Quite clearly in most sports the money is going to be cut back in nearly all areas. It's really important now we get the right people in the right jobs and start being really creative about how we move forward and how we can cut costs but still produce great state teams.
"The best Test team in the world is what we want to achieve and if we have to cut money and find diff ways to do that, then so be it."
A reduction in the number of support staff that travel with the national teams has been one of the mooted changes once cricket returns, while CA is looking to reduce costs 25 per cent in the next financial year, having stood down the vast majority of staff until June 30.