Warm welcome for Paine on his first-class return

Tim Paine has received a warm welcome ahead of his first-class return in Brisbane before watching from the stands as Tasmania reached 3 for 52 at lunch against Queensland.

Former Test captain and wicketkeeper Paine has not played at the top level since April last year following revelations of a 2017 text-message controversy.

He took a summer-long break from the sport but has been training with the Tasmania squad and made a successful return in Hobart grade cricket last Sunday.

Paine is listed to bat at No. 7 for the Tigers, who were sent in by Queensland captain and Test opener Usman Khawaja under gloomy skies at the redeveloped Allan Border Field.

He cut a relaxed figure in the build-up to the first ball, sharing a warm embrace and quick chat with Bulls assistant coach and former Test quick Andy Bichel.

A modest crowd watched as Michael Neser struck with the third ball of the innings, Caleb Jewell’s attempted cover drive finding Matt Renshaw at first slip.

Mark Steketee then had Tim Ward (15) and Ben McDermott (0) edging behind the wicket, with Jake Doran and captain Jordan Silk patiently seeing the visitors to lunch.

Silk had a life on 13, with wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson dropping a relatively straightforward catch down the legside off James Bazley.

Spinner Mitchell Swepson will not play for Queensland after being called into Australia’s T20 squad to face England on Sunday in Perth.

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