Telling move that suggests Tim Paine's playing career is over

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·Sports Reporter
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Aussie cricket Test captain Tim Paine (pictured) during a press conference.
Former Aussie Test cricket captain Tim Paine's (pictured) cricket future is in doubt after being released by Tasmania. (Getty Images)

Tim Paine's playing career appears to be over after state team Tasmania failed to offer the former Aussie Test captain a contract for the new season.

Paine sensationally stood down from his captaincy role ahead of the Ashes series last year when a sexting scandal involving a female former colleague at Cricket Tasmania became public.

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Cricket Australia's response to the scandal came under fire, particularly after he was initially cleared of any wrongdoing in two separate investigations.

CA was made aware of the incident in 2018 but backed Paine to continue playing and captaining Australia at that juncture, desperate to restore the team's image after the Cape Town ball-tampering crisis.

After taking time away from cricket following resignation, Paine returned to the Tasmanian fold as an assistant coach late last season.

However his release from the Tigers' squad on Thursday has now left his future unclear.

Paine is understood to be keen to remain involved in cricket in a coaching or development role, but his on-field career appears to have ended after 35 Tests and 147 first-class matches.

Paine became the 46th Test captain of Australia after taking over from Steve Smith in the wake of the ball-tampering fiasco.

The Tasmanian scored 1534 runs at an average of 32.63.

Paine was a prolific wicket-keeper and took 150 catches and seven stumpings.

He holds the record for most catches in a Test series with 63.

Tim Paine, pictured here wife Bonnie at the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards.
Tim Paine wife Bonnie at the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Women's cricket gets massive boost

Meanwhile, the Women's National Cricket League will expand to a full home-and-away season for the first time next summer.

The move came after Cricket Australia and the players' union signed off on a new one-year Memorandum of Understanding.

Part of the changes will see Australia's premier one-day women's competition expanded from eight to 12 matches, on top of 14 WBBL games.

The move will provide additional WNCL match payments totalling nearly $7,000 per player.

Jemma Barsby, pictured here during the Women's National Cricket League final between Queensland and NSW.
Jemma Barsby bats during the Women's National Cricket League final between Queensland and NSW. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

That means the average salary for female domestic players who play both formats will rise to about $86,000.

"Our female players are superb role models and as we continue to focus on increasing the participation of women and girls in cricket, a full home-and-away WNCL season is a logical step," CA chief executive Nick Hockley said.

The new MoU, which is largely based on the previous model, will see players share in 27.5 per cent of Australian cricket revenue plus a 2.5 per cent performance pool.

"What became clear as we worked through the negotiations was that the benefits to the game of this partnership model were clearly recognised," Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Todd Greenberg said.

"Significantly, the deal maintains the partnership and revenue share model which has been in place for more than 20 years."

with AAP

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