Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo
Former Australian captain Tim Paine was not named in Tasmania's first Marsh Cup team of the new season but he remains up for selection for their Sheffield Shield opener after training with Tigers over the past six weeks.
Paine has been training with the Tasmania squad since mid-August but he was not named in Tasmania's 14-man Marsh Cup squad that was named on Monday, with Tigers opening their 50-over domestic campaign against South Australia in Brisbane on Wednesday before also facing Queensland in Brisbane on Friday. Paine also did not play in Tasmania's second XI side that took on Queensland's second XI in Brisbane last week, despite Tasmania fielding a near Shield-strength.
He instead looks set to make his grade cricket return for University of Tasmania in the first round of Tasmania's premier cricket competition this coming weekend with Tasmania to play their first Shield game against Queensland in Brisbane on October 6.
New Tasmania coach Jeff Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo that Paine's return to training had come as a surprise but he revealed he was in good shape both physically and mentally and was in the selection frame.
"That one sort of popped up from nowhere to be honest. He came and spoke to the CEO and myself one day and said he'd like to come back and he's certainly going to play cricket for University," Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo. "So he's been training with us most sessions the last five or six weeks. Physically [he's] going well, emotionally going well. I'm sure everyone would agree that we trust his wicketkeeping skill set, his leadership skill set. So he's up for selection.
"Like any of our contracted players and like any of our players in Tasmanian premier cricket, he's up for selection and one we will certainly speak about."
Paine played just one second XI game for Tasmania last year before his break from cricket. His last first-class game was in April of 2021 for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield.
Jake Doran kept in the second XI match against Queensland last week having kept in seven of Tasmania's eight Shield games last season.
Tasmania's Marsh Cup squad: Tom Andrews, Jackson Bird, Jake Doran, Jarrod Freeman, Caleb Jewell, Riley Meredith, Ben McDermott, Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk (capt), Tim Ward, Beau Webster, Mac Wright