Bailey makes Hampshire move
Hampshire have swooped to sign Australia’s George Bailey as their overseas player for the 2013 season.
Bailey was a surprise choice to lead his country in Twenty20 cricket, becoming the first to do so for Australia on debut, and has also appeared in a handful of one-day internationals.
The 30-year-old has amassed over 5,000 first-class runs for Tasmania - and will now test himself in county cricket.
Bailey previously enjoyed a brief stint with Scotland in the Clydesdale Bank 40, scoring 90 against the Royals at the Ageas Bowl in 2010.
He said: “I’ve heard a lot of good reports about Hampshire as a county and am really looking forward to playing there next year.
“It’s my first time playing for a county and the talks with (Hampshire manager) Giles White have been very positive. I can see the guys did very well last year, and knowing that I’m joining a side that has tasted a lot of success in recent times but wants to get even better is a real attraction.”
White said: “We are excited by the arrival of George, who fits the age profile of the squad well and adds further leadership and batting quality to the group.
“We hope that this is the start of an ongoing relationship and that he plays a part in shaping the future fortunes of the club.”
The news comes as part of a double boost for Hampshire, who have also persuaded Neil McKenzie to sign another one-year contract.
The South African, who qualifies as a Kolpak player, will arrive in June and be available to play in all formats, taking in the whole of the Friends Life t20 campaign as well as the remaining LV= County Championship and CB40 matches.
He said: “I'm very happy to be returning to Hampshire next year. I always enjoy my time playing county cricket and the family has found a home from home in Southampton.
“We did pretty well this year but promotion to LV= County Championship Division One is a priority and I'm sure we can do it.”
White added: “Neil has been great for us over the years and we are pleased he is with us again next season. He has proved an extremely popular, loyal and influential cricketer and, for all those reasons, he was a priority signing.”
Bilal Shafayat, who played for Hampshire on a one-year deal in 2012, has not been retained for the 2013 season.