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George Bailey to become national selector at the end of BBL season

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former Australia captain George Bailey is set to become a full-time national selector at the conclusion of the Big Bash League, which runs between December 17 and February 8.

Bailey is set to end an 18-year tenure as a player for his state side Tasmania, while the 2019-20 BBL will also see him bid farewell to the Hobart Hurricanes, whom he captained to the final twice, in 2013-14 and 2017-18.

Long considered one of the most respected leaders within Australian cricketing circles, Bailey will now join the Trevor Hohns-led selection panel, alongside the chairman, and head coach Justin Langer, ahead of a critical season as Australia gear up for a home T20 World Cup in October next year.

“I am passionate about the long-term success of the Australian cricket team and advancing the cause of Australian cricket in general,” Bailey said. “I’m confident I can add value to the selection process, and that my experience will be complementary to that of Trevor and Justin. I am really excited to be joining them in the coming months.”

Bailey enjoyed stints of two years each, as captain of the Australian limited-overs teams. In all, he made 125 national appearances,  accumulating 3700 runs in that time. In a major testament to his leadership credentials, in January 2012, Bailey was named captain of Australia’s T20I side, giving him the rare distinction of making his international debut as his team’s captain.

“We’re thrilled to have George join the national selection panel. He is an outstanding leader, and one of the most respected, thoughtful and generous figures in international cricket,” Ben Oliver, the executive general manager of the national teams, said.

“George’s international and domestic playing career speaks for itself. His extensive experience across all formats, and deep knowledge of T20 cricket, will be invaluable as we head into a home T20 World Cup and beyond. We’re also excited about the broader impact that George will have on Australian cricket, as we work to connect more closely with players, coaches and high performance staff across the country.”

Dominic Baker, the Cricket Tasmania chief executive officer, congratulated Bailey on his appointment and hoped the Tasmania veteran can translate the value he has added to his state side into a successful stint.

“George has been the heart and soul of Tasmanian cricket for well over a decade and, on behalf of all Tasmanians, I thank him for his dedication, commitment and passion for the cause,” Baker said. “I have no doubt George will make an outstanding selector and will provide Australian cricket with the same wisdom, drive and purpose that has defined his time with Tasmania.”

The appointment has been met with widespread approval across the wider Australian cricket circle. Limited-overs captain Aaron Finch acknowledged as much when he said: “I think everyone, all the players I’ve spoken to, are rapt with the decision. [It’s great to have] someone who has been heavily involved in T20 cricket, in particular, someone who has captained Australia and knows what it takes to be an elite player, and someone who hasn’t always done it the easy way.

“He’s challenged himself technically a lot of times, George, and I think just the way that he played the game is brilliant, and to have that talent identification as well is really important.”

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