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January 17, 2013
George Bailey could be "working in a coalmine or flipping burgers at McDonald's" if not for the money poured into cricket by Channel Nine, according to the network's executive producer of cricket, Brad McNamara. Bailey last week defended the Australia side he was leading from criticism it was a "B-team", but said he could understand such talk coming from Channel Nine as the network enters a new negotiating period over cricket's television rights.
The Australians rested Michael Clarke, David Warner and Matthew Wade from the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, which led to criticism from Channel Nine's head of sport, Steve Crawley. However, in a stinging rebuke on Thursday, McNamara said Nine was not guilty of disparaging the one-day format and that ratings had been good for the first two ODIs in Melbourne and Adelaide.
"Nowhere has Channel Nine ever talked the one-day game down, nowhere have we ever said this is a 'B team'," McNamara said on Sky Sports Radio. "It's rubbish and George should stick to playing cricket and leave 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. All this talk about the death of one-day cricket, it's not coming from us. Given we were lacking star quality, we were very happy [with the ratings]."
Bailey has been Australia's leading run scorer in ODIs in the past six months and made an impressive 89 during the win at the MCG last Friday. He has handed control of the one-day team back to Clarke for the third match against Sri Lanka, to be held in Brisbane on Friday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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