AFTER flirting with a move interstate, Tim Paine is set to stay in Tasmania next season.
It is understood that the wicketkeeper has agreed to a two-year deal that just three months ago appeared highly improbable.
A change of CEO - Nick Cummins replaced David Johnston - was a major factor behind Cricket Tasmania electing to extend its contract offer from one season to two.
Cummins, who was previously Sydney Thunder's general manager, was keen to hold on to the 32-year-old and his vast first-class experience.
Alongside George Bailey, Paine had been the backbone of Tasmanian one-day and four-day teams for more than a decade until he fell out of favour with former coach Dan Marsh.
It left him considering his future, with a job offer emerging in Melbourne with cricket supplier Kookaburra an option. Paine's wife is also from Melbourne.
However, with a Victorian state contract not forthcoming and a two-season deal on the table, Paine's future until at least the end of 2018-19 rests in the Apple Isle, and seemingly also with the Hobart Hurricanes, although the Sydney Sixers have shown interest.
Paine's decision to stay leaves the Tasmanian wicketkeeping situation in an interesting position if Matthew Wade is available. In that case, 20-year-old gloveman Jake Doran and Paine would jostle for a position as a specialist batsman. Indeed they are likely to compete for a spot behind the stumps when the Sheffield Shield season gets under way at the start of the summer.
There will be a minimum of two and potentially three Shield games before the first Ashes Test on November 23.
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