Coach Adam Griffith has lent on his own experience of bowing out of the game and wishes not to pass on that sort of retirement talk onto Tasmanian and Hurricanes veteran George Bailey.
After a lean first half to the Sheffield Shield year, Bailey has struck devastating touch for the Hobart BBL side.
Griffith, whose involvement with Bailey stretches right back to when the pair were at South Launceston, says the call on how much time the former captain has left in the game will be out of the coach’s hands.
The 36-year-old played out his 50th match for the Hurricanes on Monday night at the MCG against his 2011-12 side Melbourne Stars.
“We will have discussions and that, but the one thing I learned at the back of my career is that once you start thinking about those things, more often you’re almost done,” Griffith said.
“I don’t want to have those conversations with him just at the moment.
“While he’s in such good form, there’s no point. I want him to focus on playing and really enjoy what he’s doing.
“One that little five per cent [of doubt] starts to chip away in the back of your mind that’s when things start to slide. He’s nowhere near that at the moment.”
Bailey had looked to battle against the red ball, struggling to average just 22.50 in six Shield matches for Tasmania in spite of striking up 109 against Queensland last month at the Gabba.
But he very quickly turned around his fortunes in the T20 switch, averaging 57.77 at an impressive 150.43 strike rate heading into Monday night’s encounter.
Griffith believed between form dips and rises, Bailey is showing no signs of his age.
“His energy in the field is outstanding, he’s still leading out on the ground, he’s still helping with field placings during games obviously with Matthew [Wade] wicketkeeping and not being close to the bowler, so that’s great,” Griffith said of Bailey.
“There is absolutely no doubt that we’ll have the conversation at the end of the year just to see how he’s feeling – he has earned the right to drive that conversation, no doubt.”
Griffith added that Bailey has been rejuvenated since relinquishing the captaincy.
“I think in the last month or so, two months, we have really seen the enjoyment come back into his cricket and we are seeing that translate into results out on the ground,” Griffith said.
“George just loves being around the group now.
“He’s got a really good balance with his lifestyle – his family and his cricket.
“It’s really just a pleasure to turn up every day and work with him.”
Griffith was keen to pay a touching tribute to Bailey – who is just four years younger than his current coach – over his considerable contribution to Tasmanian cricket.
The one-time Longford junior debuted for his state back in the 2001-02 season in the 50-over ING Cup.
It took Bailey a further three years before he earned a spot for Tasmania in Shield cricket, knocking up a 70 and a duck on debut against New South Wales.
Bailey captained Australia amid his 90 one-dayers and 30 Twenty20 internationals, but Griffith said no one better could have represented the Tigers and later the Hurricanes than his good friend.
“I think he is starting to leave a really important legacy as well,” Griffith said.
“That’s one of the best things you can say about a player is the legacy that they leave behind.
“When people start talking about your impact on such an association and on Australian cricket, I think that’s a credit to George and the way he’s done things.”