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Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - BRETT STUBBS Sports ed­i­tor

NEW na­tional se­lec­tor Ge­orge Bai­ley is ready to make the hard calls — even if it is on his cur­rent team­mates Tim Paine and Matthew Wade.

Bai­ley, the for­mer Aus­tralian one-day and Twenty20 skip­per, will join the se­lec­tion panel after this sum­mer’s Big Bash League and knows there will be some awk­ward con­ver­sa­tions with play­ers he has shared change rooms with or played against for more than a decade. “That is what the role is, I’m cer­tainly go­ing in eyes wide open to the fact there are dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions that will be had,” Bai­ley said. “With those two (Paine and Wade) in par­tic­u­lar, it is all about be­ing hon­est, it cer­tainly won’t be my de­ci­sion and my de­ci­sion alone. Like any player, you work through those things hope­fully to­gether at the ap­pro­pri­ate time.”

He made light of the scru­tiny on the role, com­par­ing it to the unusual bat­ting stance he has adopted in the lat­ter stages of his ca­reer. “Have you seen the way I stand when I face up to face a cricket ball?” he said. “I’m happy to cop a lit­tle bit of crit­i­cism.”

Bai­ley, 37, will be the first se­lec­tor to have T20 ex­pe­ri­ence, and brings a new set of skills hav­ing played the short­est for­mat all around the world as well as Test cricket, county cricket and 15 years of Sh­effield Shield cricket.

“My ex­pec­ta­tions are I feel like I’m a ser­vant to the play­ers,” he said. “Cer­tainly the ma­jor­ity of play­ers play­ing first class cricket, their dream is to play for Aus­tralia. “My job is to select the lucky few who get the op­por­tu­nity to do that. “But you are also try­ing to help those who are not quite in the mix, giv­ing them some help and ad­vice on how you think they can get there and also the guys who have had the op­por­tu­nity to and then find them­selves back out of the team, you are try­ing to get them back into that team. “Ef­fec­tively all you are try­ing to do is mak­ing sure that Aus­tralian cricket team is as strong as it can be at any given time.” He is avail­able for Tas­ma­nia’s next two Shield games be­fore play­ing for the Hur­ri­canes in the Big Bash that will end his play­ing ca­reer, a de­ci­sion he is more than com­fort­able with. The veteran said he was not ex­pect­ing any spe­cial treat­ment from op­po­si­tion play­ers now he had been an­nounced as a se­lec­tor. “I feel like I get along with nearly ev­ery first class player in the coun­try so I don’t see too much chang­ing, I’ll see in the next cou­ple of weeks,” Bai­ley said. “(But) If any of the quick bowlers want to pitch the ball up to me in the next cou­ple of weeks, that would be well re­ceived.”

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