Former Australian captain Tim Paine could be set to play for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash after the team left a vacant spot in the squad for the upcoming season.
Earlier this month, Paine was reportedly training with Tasmania's first-class squad with a return to competitive cricket on his mind.
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The former Australian Test captain hasn't played since stepping away from the game after it was revealed he sent lewd messages to a female Cricket Tasmania employee in 2017.
Paine stood down from his role as Test captain only weeks out from the Ashes series.
However, Hurricanes coach Jeff Vaughan said his team was open to linking up with the 37-year-old if he was to return later this season.
"He's two weeks back into his training schedule again (and has) been really good in the nets," Vaughan said on Tuesday.
"(He's) good physically, good emotionally. Look, there's a chance, but he'll be one of a number of players we'll look at for that last position."
Tim Paine in line for Hurricanes spot
While discussions are ongoing about the final spot in the Hurricanes' roster, the decision may not be made until some Sheffield Shield and domestic one-day cricket has been played.
The Hurricanes, who start their BBL season on December 16 against the Melbourne Stars, have wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and part-time gloveman Ben McDermott on their books.
"(Paine has) been keeping and telling us how good he's going. We all have faith and trust in his 'keeping skill set," Vaughan said.
"He's very much training as he was 12, 18 months ago."
Paine has played 43 matches for Hobart, the last in BBL07, and scored 1119 runs at a strike rate of 122 and average of 27.98.
The Hurricanes on Tuesday announced the signing of speedster Billy Stanlake, who negotiated a release from his contract with the Stars.
Stanlake made his debut for Australia last year, but is on the return trail from a stress fracture in his back.
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