'Step aside': George Bailey caught in Tim Paine selection drama

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
George Bailey and Tim Paine, pictured here in Tasmania.
George Bailey says he will recuse himself from discussions about Tim Paine's selection. Image: AAP/Getty

Australia's chairman of selectors George Bailey says he will exclude himself from discussions if his personal relationship with Tim Paine becomes a conflict of interest at the selection table.

Paine stepped down from the Test captaincy on Friday after it was revealed he sent sexualised messages and a naked image to a female Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

'MAJOR PROBLEM': Steve Smith captaincy twist in Tim Paine scandal

PLOT THICKENS: $40,000 detail about woman in cricket controversy

While he is no longer captain, Paine is still available for selection for the upcoming Ashes series.

However former players Mark Waugh and Shane Warne are among those who think it's time for Australia to appoint a new wicketkeeper for the series opener against England on December 8.

Working in Paine's favour is the fact that he is good friends with Bailey, who replaced Trevor Hohns as Australia's chairman of selectors earlier this year.

However Bailey has revealed he will not take part in discussions about Paine's selection if the panel - which includes Tony Dodemaide and coach Justin Langer - isn't unanimous.

“If the panel was not in agreeance with Tim’s position going forward and it was going to come down to a vote, then I would step aside and leave that to Tony and Justin to work through,” Bailey told Peter Lalor and Gideon Haigh on the Cricket Et Cetera podcast.

“They’re both aware of that.”

Bailey and Paine played state cricket together for Tasmania, while they are also co-investors in gym franchise Body Bit.

“I feel like by saying that it feels like Tim is the only close friend I have and I think since the day that I was given the opportunity to have this role we’ve been aware that’s the case,” Bailey said.

“I have strong friendships and relationships that go back years with a number of players. I guess that can be viewed a number of ways. There could be a tendency to go easier or vice versa. I think you could go the other way and you could be harder on those players at times.

“I truly believe that having strong relationships with the players, I doubly make sure that I do the job that I have to the best of my ability and I understand that the decisions we make do have large ramifications, both positive and negative, for the players and their families, their livelihoods and their careers.

“It’s not something taken lightly and we put the work in because of that to make sure that we’re trying to make the best decision we can and that’s whether it’s with Tim or with anyone.”

Tim Paine, pictured here in action during a second XI match between Tasmania and South Australia.
Tim Paine in action during a second XI match between Tasmania and South Australia. (AAP Image/Josh Agnew)

Tim Paine takes six catches in return to cricket

Paine has declared he wants to play in the series and remains part of Australia's Test squad.

He turned out for Tasmania's second XI at Lindisfarne Oval in Hobart on Monday, a match marked as part of his comeback from a neck injury before the sexting scandal emerged.

Paine grabbed six catches, one of them a low chance to his right, and got through 65.5 overs of keeping without any visible trouble.

Cricket Tasmania high performance manager Simon Insley, who dead-batted questions from media about the scandal, said Paine was "ready to play cricket".

Tim Paine and George Bailey, pictured here in action for Tasmania in 2019.
Tim Paine and George Bailey in action for Tasmania in 2019. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

"Whenever you go through challenging times you want to be around your mates and do what you do best," Insley said.

"He's an exceptional cricketer and he wants to play cricket and get ready for the Ashes. He wants to show signs of good form and show that he's ready for selection.

"We all know Tim Paine, he is a very determined individual."

Questions have been raised about the merits of keeping Paine in the Test team, given the scandal, his age, lack of cricket and the captaincy being a major string to his bow.

The four-day second XI fixture and a three-day Australian intra-squad match in Brisbane early next month will be his only hit-outs prior to the Ashes.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting