Birth of child has Paine in doubt for pre-tour cricket camp

The impending birth of his second child means Australian captain Tim Paine could miss the Test squad's pre-season camp in Brisbane this month but he remains confident of leading the side against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

Tasmanian-based Paine and wife Bonnie are expecting their second child, a boy, joining 16-month-old Mila, within the next 10 days. Paine's focus is on ensuring his family is settled at home before he leaves.


The new-look Australian side will gather in Brisbane midway through this month before leaving for the UAE on September 19, where they will have two Tests against Pakistan, the first beginning October 7 in Dubai.

Paine told Fairfax Media on Monday it was touch-and-go as to whether he would appear at the camp.

"The plan is for me to stay home, get them home and settled in and then I'll leave from here," he said.

"I should be okay. We are hoping in the next 10 days we will probably have him (baby boy). That will give me a week at home before I head off after that."

If Paine, battling the flu, does not make the camp, he is likely to join the team in transit through Sydney.

Paine recently returned from a leadership learning trip to the United States.

Paine recently returned from a leadership learning trip to the United States.

He has recently returned from a four-day leadership tour of the United States, having joined coach Justin Langer, team performance boss Pat Howard and Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.

Paine spent time at the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Cubs, the latter involving a full game-day with the team at Wrigley Field. He was particularly impressed with how batters prepared pre-game, in that they were meticulous in their warm-up regime.

"It was similar (to cricket) but they had all the batters come in and hit balls at certain times. It was probably the level of detail they go to. The batters, and I do this myself, will go and have a hit and just feel good in that morning period before the game where they had a lot of guys who went through really specific drills that they had to complete," he said.

Paine was also able to pick the mind of Cameron McCormick, the coach who has helped golfer Jordan Spieth become one of the best in the world.

"It opened my mind to what's possible with batting coaching in particular in our sport," he said.

"The one thing that I liked that he spoke a lot about was skill rather than technique. I think in cricket we get so worried about technique and how something looks – he was all about the skill itself."

Paine took charge of the Test side in South Africa, when Steve Smith and David Warner lost their leadership positions in wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering saga.

The repercussions continue to be felt, with two separate reviews – one into the culture of CA by The Ethics Centre, and another into the team by former Test batsman Rick McCosker – to be finalised soon.

Paine has worked assiduously already to usher in cultural reform with Langer but their hopes of a series win in the spin-friendly UAE will also be impacted by Cameron Bancroft's suspension, also for the ball-tampering scandal, and injuries to fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

"It will be great to be back out playing. It's going to be a huge challenge – we haven't had a lot of success playing in the sub-continent. It's not something we are worried about. It's a huge opportunity and great place to start if we can go over there and play well and win a series," he said.

The national selectors will also need to confirm a vice-captain for the tour. Allrounder Mitch Marsh, leading Australia A on a tour of India, is firmly in the running, with Paine declaring he had strong credentials.

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