Hampshire sign Aussie star as Macca agrees return

Australia t20 skipper George Bailey has signed for Hampshire
Australia t20 skipper George Bailey has signed for Hampshire
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

Root: Hampshire talent will embrace Ashes debut

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Hampshire have named Australia t20 skipper George Bailey as their full-time overseas player for the 2013 campaign.

Neil McKenzie has also committed himself to the county next term – signing for a fourth consecutive season.

But the Ageas Bowl outfit have not retained Bilal Shafayat who penned a short-term deal last term.

Hampshire have moved swiftly to secure the services of Bailey after Simon Katich moved to County Championship division two rivals Lancashire.

And the 30-year-old Tasmanian batsman is delighted about becoming part of Giles White’s squad.

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 Giles White have been very positive.

‘I can see the guys did very well last year and knowing 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.’

First-team manager White admitted Bailey’s leadership qualities were among the key factors in his recruitment.

He 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 this is the start of an ongoing relationship and he plays a part in shaping the future fortunes of the club.’

Bailey has played 13 one-day internationals for Australia, while skippering his nation in 13 t20 fixtures.

While he has yet to pull on the baggy green at Test level, Bailey’s first-class career has seen him score 5,520 runs at an average of 39.71.

He has previously played on the English domestic scene with Scotland.

He represented the Saltires in the Friends Provident Trophy in 2007 and the Clydesdale Bank 40 in 2010.

McKenzie has been signed on a Kolpak deal and will be available to play in all formats upon his arrival in June.

He said: ‘I always enjoy my time playing county cricket and the family has found a home from home here.

‘We did pretty well this year but promotion to County Championship division one is a priority and I’m sure we can do it.’