Former Australian skipper Tim Paine is unlikely to be in the spectators' gallery when the fifth and final Ashes Test commences at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart -- the wicketkeeper-batter's hometown - on January 14.
A report on Tuesday said that the 37-year-old Paine, who had voluntarily stepped down as captain in the wake of a sexting scandal ahead of the Ashes, had left Tasmania before the historic day-night Test in his home state.
"He's instead on holiday interstate," foxsports.com.au quoted Sydney Morning Herald as saying on Tuesday.
Paine, who took an indefinite break from all forms of cricket days after he stepped down as the Australian Test captain in the wake of the scandal, has never played the longest format of the game at his home ground.
Paine has played 20 Tests in Australia between 2017 and 2021, but none in Tasmania. He narrowly missed the chance to lead Australia in his home state when the scheduled one-off Test against Afghanistan at the Bellerive Oval in November was postponed after the Taliban takeover.
Paine, who stepped away from the cricket after it was revealed that he had sent lewd messages to a former Cricket Tasmania employee in November 2017, is "terribly disappointed he's not playing cricket".
"He's going OK is how I'd describe Tim," Australian Cricketers Association chief Todd Greenberg recently told SEN radio.
"He's terribly disappointed he's not playing cricket and I'm disappointed he is not playing cricket too, but we are keeping in close contact and we'll help him through it. We made it very clear to Cricket Australia we thought there was a different way that could have been handled, but we're not always going to agree. The players felt it could have been handled differently, and they felt like the governing body didn't have their back at that particular time.
"We're creating trust between the players and the governing body, and that's a big part of that. We took some steps backwards in that scenario, that's just being brutally honest."
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