'It would be devastating' May 2, 2007

Jenner warns of using Bailey as next Warne

Cricinfo staff



Cullen Bailey has impressed the national selectors by the age of 22 © Getty Images

Terry Jenner says it could be "devastating" for the development of Cullen Bailey, the new Cricket Australia-contracted legspinner, if he is thrust into the national side straight after Shane Warne. Jenner has coached both bowlers and he also knows the damage of following a high-profile performer after playing in the footsteps of Richie Benaud.

"I think it would be devastating for a young player to follow Warne straight in, and the reputation and aura and records that come with that," Jenner said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "Stuey [MacGill] has a very important job now. I do believe that Bailey has the ability and the work ethic to be a successful Test bowler, but he needs to be given a chance to develop."

Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said any played picked in the 25-man squad on Tuesday had a chance of playing for Australia in the next year. Bailey, who is 22 and on honeymoon in Malaysia, has appeared in only 17 first-class games, taking 54 wickets at 41.51. Bailey and Dan Cullen, the contracted offspinner, often find it difficult to fit into the same South Australian team.

"[Bailey] has put together a couple of solid seasons now," Hilditch said. "Sometimes these things happen quickly."

MacGill is the front-runner to replace Warne in the Test team - he took 39 Pura Cup wickets at 35.43 last season - although Brad Hogg's chances have improved after his World Cup. MacGill, who is having knee surgery during the winter, has not played a Test since last year's tour of Bangladesh and he faces competition from the four other slow bowlers picked in the squad.

"Australian cricket is very lucky to have someone like Stuart," Hilditch said. "We obviously think he is a very valuable player for us and that is why we have placed a fair bit of faith in him."

Ben Hilfenhaus, the Tasmania swing bowler, was one of the new additions along with Chris Rogers and he was relieved to have confirmation of his inclusion. "A few people were talking about it, so you get hopeful but you can never really expect it, and I'm very pleased to be given it," he said in the Hobart Mercury. "With the retirements there are spots available, so some young blokes have the opportunity to put their hand up and get a game."

David Gilbert, the New South Wales chief executive, was disgusted Simon Katich, the state captain, did not retain his place on the list. "Katich continues to be one of the best-performed batsmen in Australian first-class and one-day cricket and his sacking beggars belief," he said. "With the retirements of Justin Langer and Damien Martyn, his sacking is even more bewildering and seriously questions the credibility of the selection process."

Greg Shipperd, the Victoria coach, was also upset the allrounder Andrew McDonald and David Hussey missed out. "We're a bit stiff but that's what selection is all about," he said in The Age. "We were banking on three and hoping on four, but in the end, we only got two [Brad Hodge and Cameron White]. McDonald's desperately unlucky in the sense that he had a fantastic season in all three forms of the game and must have been perilously close."