A highly respected figure in Australian cricket and long-time state captain, Bailey played all five Tests during the whitewash of England in the 2013/14 Ashes and was a prominent figure in Australia’s one-day and Twenty20 international sides earlier this decade.
Bailey said last week he believed he could continue playing with the Hurricanes and Tasmania if he was awarded the spot on the panel and that was endorsed by Queensland captain Usman Khawaja on Monday.
“I think there is always an option there. I think there is no one more involved and more relevant in the game than people who are actually playing the game,” Khawaja said.
“I think players are one of the biggest stakeholders, sometimes the most under-utilised and undervalued stakeholders in the game. I think it’s always important to have someone in the skin of the game.”
Asked about the search for a new selector earlier on Monday, Cricket Australia head of national teams Ben Oliver said he was “really pleased with the people who put their hat in the ring for that role”.
“There will be some people who are really disappointed no doubt but they should all take great encouragement and they all have a lot to offer,” Oliver said.
Former South Australia captain Michael Klinger was also on the shortlist but sources indicate he is favourite to land the vacant Melbourne Renegades coaching job.
Cricket Victoria was due to hold a board meeting on Monday night to ratify the Renegades’ appointment.
CA was keen to attract a player of Bailey’s generation because of the importance of having someone on the panel with intricate knowledge of the white-ball formats as a player, particularly with tournaments such as next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia on the horizon.
Oliver, however, said the new appointee would not just be involved in picking limited-overs sides but the Test team as well.
“The panel, and all three, will be responsible for all Australian men’s teams,” he said.
“What we’ve tried to achieve in this recruitment process is adding in some complementary skills to support Trevor and Justin and one of those is a consideration around short-format cricket.”
There have been concerns aired privately among rival states about having a current player act as a selector, for in Bailey’s case there were questions as to what it could mean for a bowler’s international hopes should Bailey score heavily off him in a BBL match. However, those who know Bailey say he has one of the sharper minds in the game and would retain an open mind, regardless of how he had faired against certain players.
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Jon Pierik is cricket writer for The Age. He also covers AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.