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Tim Paine escapes Ashes glare by leaving Tasmania on sun-kissed holiday

Tim Paine will be far away when the fourth Ashes Test kicks off in Tasmania after leaving his home state before the historic fixture.

Tim Paine’s wife Bonnie has posted photos of their beachside getaway as the former Australian cricket captain and his family travelled north to play in some sun and sand before the fifth Ashes Test gets underway in his home state of Tasmania today.

Earlier in the week it emerged Paine, who stood down as captain and took time away from cricket after his sexting scandal came to light in November, would not be in Hobart for the historic occasion as Tasmania hosts its first ever Ashes Test.

The Daily Telegraph reported the wicketkeeper decided it would be better for his wellbeing to be out of town when the Ashes arrived on his doorstep and he and his family took a trip interstate.

Bonnie uploaded a series of happy snaps to Instagram on Thursday of the family’s holiday, captioning her post “R&R” with sun, palm tree and water emojis.

Paine never got an opportunity to play Test cricket at his home ground. He played 20 Tests on Australian soil between 2017 and 2021, but none in the island state.

Australia was scheduled to take on Afghanistan at Bellerive Oval in November, but the historic fixture was yet again postponed after the Taliban’s takeover. However, when a Perth Ashes Test became untenable due to Western Australia’s strict border protocols, Cricket Australia moved the marquee fixture to Hobart.

Entering the twilight of his professional career, most cricket pundits assumed the 2021/22 summer would be Paine’s last in the national set-up. A day-night Ashes Test at his beloved Bellerive Oval would have been the perfect send-off for Paine, the poster boy of Australian cricket following the infamous ball-tampering saga of 2018.

“It will be a very proud moment for me to lead the Australian Test side (in Hobart),” Paine told reporters in May. “It’s exciting for boys and girls around Tasmania to have the best players in Australia and the world up close.

“Since I’ve had the job I’ve thought in the back of mind that it would be an amazing feeling to lead Australia out here.

“When my career is done and dusted, I think this is going to be a moment that I hold right up there.”

South Australian gloveman Alex Carey replaced Paine ahead of the Ashes series and the 30-year-old pouched eight chances in the Brisbane Test to break the all-time record for most catches on debut.

But wicketkeeping in Test cricket is no easy task — Carey has since missed several chances behind the stumps while averaging 15.71 with the bat after seven knocks.

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