Hampshire overseas signing George Bailey told to concenrate on cricket



First published in Sport

Australia Twenty20 captain George Bailey has been told he should be glad he is not ''flipping burgers at McDonald's'' as a proposed multi-million television rights deal for cricket Down Under became personal.

Channel Nine executive producer of cricket Brad McNamara launched an unexpected attack on Bailey, Hampshire’s main overseas signing for 2013, after the right-hander hit out at claims the current one-day squad taking on Sri Lanka was a 'B team''.

Australia rested a number of key names, including skipper Michael Clarke, for the opening two games of the tied series during which Bailey took interim charge.

The decision to rotate players has come as Cricket Australia renegotiate a TV right deal with Channel Nine, reportedly worth AUS500million (£328.57m).

McNamara has, however, denied Channel Nine had questioned the strength of the current team before singling out Bailey - telling the 30-year-old to instead worry himself with trying to stay in the team.

''Nowhere has Channel Nine ever talked the one-day game down, nowhere have we ever said this is a 'B team','' McNamara told Sky Sports Radio.

''It's rubbish and George should stick to playing cricket and leave (television) rights to the people who know what they're talking about.

''I reckon he's got his hands full as it is. He needs to concentrate on staying in the side.

''And he needs to understand where his money's coming from. Without the TV rights deal, George is probably working in a coalmine or flipping burgers at McDonald's.''

Despite naming a perceived under-strength squad 4.4million viewers tuned in for the first two games - a statistic revealed via a Cricket Australia statement yesterday.

McNamara said Channel Nine were happy with those figures with the likes of Clarke, David Warner and Matthew Wade back in the squad ahead of the third ODI in Brisbane tomorrow.

''All this talk about the death of one-day cricket, it's not coming from us,'' McNamara said.

''Our ratings have always been good. Given we were lacking star quality, we were very happy with those figures.''

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