It’s the retirement that never was.
Australian batsman George Bailey insists he has in fact not retired from Twenty20 cricket and instead reaffirmed his desire to be a part of the World Twenty20 in India in March.
In a tale of simple miscommunication, Bailey was on Sunday stunned to read reports of his decision to stand down from the shortest form of the game.
The 32-year-old stepped away from the T20 captaincy in August last year, with Aaron Finch taking over, and sat out a one-off clash in South Africa in order to focus more on red-ball cricket in a bid to reignite his flagging Test career.
Bailey was not selected for Monday’s one-off T20 clash against England in Cardiff and the message coming from within the camp was that he wasn’t injured or dropped – instead, he’d retired.
It is understood one of the selectors was of the belief Bailey had quit the format entirely in order to focus on forcing his way back into the Test team.
Others believed him to still be eligible, so this was not considered the reason for his omission from Monday’s game.
Following the five-run loss to England, Cricket Australia clarified the confusion surrounding Bailey’s future.
“George has spoken to the selectors and team management and stressed his desire to feature in the Twenty20 international squad in the future and to be part of the team that travels to the ICC World Twenty20 in India next year,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson said in a statement.
“The selectors and team management are fully supportive of that and now it’s up to George to put the performances on the board to give himself the best chance of selection.”
Bailey is expected to reclaim his place in the middle-order for the five-match one-day series against England, starting with a day-night clash in Southampton on Thursday.