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Global tributes flow for Paine following his first-class farewell

Former Australian Test captain Tim Paine has spoken publicly for the first time since retiring from first-class cricket.

Tim Paine gets a guard of honour as he retires from first-class cricket  •  Getty Images

Tim Paine gets a guard of honour as he retires from first-class cricket  •  Getty Images

Former Australian Test captain Tim Paine says his phone has gone berserk with messages of support since his decision to retire from first-class cricket.
The 38-year-old called time on his domestic career at the conclusion of Tasmania's final Sheffield Shield match of the season in Hobart against Queensland last week.
Paine skippered Australia in 23 Tests in a tumultuous period following the ball-tampering saga in 2018. He stepped down from the role and away from the sport on the eve of the 2021-22 Ashes when lewd text messages he sent a Cricket Tasmania colleague years earlier became public.
Despite not having a state contract, the wicketkeeper returned to play for Tasmania this season and also played one Big Bash League game for the Hobart Hurricanes.
"I just wanted to have one more year with Tassie and finish on a positive note with some good memories," Paine told reporters in Hobart. "To come back and do that, it was nice to finish on my home ground."
Paine will play in the state premier league final for club side University of Tasmania beginning Friday and said it had been an emotional time since telling teammates about his retirement.
"My phone has been going berserk, from all around the world as well, which is nice," he said. "It's made me a bit emotional reading some of the messages and social media stuff people have sent.
"I came in the doors at Cricket Tasmania when I was 12 years old ... 26 years ago, which is a long time.
"It's an emotional time when you move on from something that you love doing and you care deeply about, but I'll still be involved in the game of cricket."
Paine said his Test debut, against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010, and winning Tasmania's first Sheffield Shield title in 2006-07 were career highlights.
"To play in that [Tasmania] team with Damien Wright, Michael Di Venuto and Dan Marsh and guys I looked up to and them having long careers and never being able to win, I think that was a real moment I'll never forget," he said.
"For myself and George Bailey and Hilfy [Ben Hilfenhaus] to come into that side and help those older guys win a Sheffield Shield ... was something I'll hold very closely for the rest of my life."
Paine said he would continue to play club cricket and has had discussions with Cricket Tasmania about a non-playing role.
In his autobiography, Paine wrote about feeling "hung out to dry" by Cricket Australia when the texting saga became public.
He represented Australia in 35 Tests and 35 one-day internationals and played 154 first-class matches.