Australian Twenty20 Captain, George Bailey has stepped down from his Captaincy role for focusing over his World Cup preparation and create chances for a Test return by playing more first-class cricket for his domestic side Tasmania.
Bailey has also made himself unavailable for Australia’s upcoming T20 series against Pakistan on their UAE tour and also T20s to be held at home against South Africa. Even though he has not retired from the format. Australia are expected to announce their squads for the UAE tour on Monday and a new T20 captain will be required after Bailey held the job for the past two and a half years resigning a day before.
However, the Australian schedule for this summer would mean Bailey remain in the T20 side, means he had as few as two Sheffield Shield games this season to press his case for a Test comeback. Instead, he can now be available for four out of Tasmania’s five pre-Christmas Shield games; his expected presence at the Cricket World Cup at home will mean his absence for Shield cricket post-Christmas.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the responsibility and honour of leading Australia in T20 internationals,” Bailey said. “Over the last couple of months I have had the opportunity to reflect on my role as T20 captain and the direction I want to take my cricket over the next few years.“
“Personally, I want to focus on my one-day cricket as well as becoming the best long-form player I can to give myself the very best chance to play Test cricket again. Stepping down from the T20 captaincy allows me the option of not playing some T20 International matches so I can play more four-day cricket for Tasmania this side of Christmas.“
He left the captaincy of the national side but he hinted on staying in the same role for the Kings XI Punjab, his Indian Premier League side and Hobart Hurricanes, the team he represents in Big Bash League.
“With that in mind and also an eye to the future and the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, I consider this to be a good time to step down from the captaincy and allow a new captain the chance to settle into the role. I have had numerous discussions with Cricket Australia and they have been very supportive of my decision. My passion and commitment to T20 cricket remains strong and I look forward to continuing my T20 roles with the Hobart Hurricanes and Kings XI Punjab.“
Bailey will leave the captaincy with Australia at No.5, the same position when he took up the job and won exactly half of the 28 T20s in which he has led the side. He captained Australia in two World T20 campaigns but they were unable to reach a final in either of them. Australia’s struggles in the spinning conditions of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had a greater impact than Bailey’s leadership.
In his 28 Twenty20s for his country, Bailey has scored 470 runs at a decent average of 26.11. Now he remains as an important ODI player for Australia and should feature at the World Cup being Australia’s leading ODI run scorer since the end of the 2011 World Cup with 1772 runs at a batting average of 49.22.