Cricket: Australian TV chief insults ex-Saltire

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Australia Twenty20 captain George Bailey has been told he should be glad he is not “flipping burgers at McDonald’s” as a proposed multi-million-pound television rights deal for cricket Down Under became personal.

Channel Nine executive producer of cricket Brad McNamara launched an attack on former Scottish Saltire Bailey after the batsman hit out at claims the current one-day squad taking on Sri Lanka was a “B team”.

Australia rested a number of key names, including skipper Michael Clarke, for the opening two games of the tied series during which Bailey took interim charge. The decision to rotate players came as Cricket Australia renegotiate a TV deal with Channel Nine, reportedly worth £328.57 million.

But McNamara denied that Channel Nine had questioned the strength of the current team before singling out Bailey.

“Nowhere have we ever said this is a ‘B team’,” said McNamara. “George should stick to playing cricket and leave [television] rights to the people who know what they’re talking about.

“Without the TV rights deal, George is probably working in a coal mine or flipping burgers at McDonald’s.”

Despite the perceived under-strength squad, 4.4 million viewers watched the first two games, and McNamara said Channel Nine were happy with that.