The hunger still burns for our evergreen skipper with no immediate plans of slowing down...

Tasmania's crop of energetic young players is keeping the retirement thoughts of veteran captain George Bailey at bay, who is just days away from starting his 18th summer of professional cricket.

Bailey turned 36 earlier this month but the senior batsman - who has featured in World Cup, Ashes and Sheffield Shield winning teams in his prolific career - says it's the spark of the Tigers' youngsters that's put the idea of calling time on his playing days on ice.

"It's hard to say," Bailey told when asked where he sees his career heading.

"I've loved having this pre-season with the Tigers boys.

"It's hard not to get inspired and motivated when you see how hard young guys go and the guys coming through the ranks who are stepping up to be more senior players and leaders within our group.

"They drag you along with them.

"So it's a pretty good feeling when you arrive to each and every session looking forward to what's ahead.

"I've tried not to think about it (retirement) too much. I'll certainly wait and see how this season goes.

"I think through competition is where I'll get my greatest indication of where I'm at, but it's not something that concerns me.

"If it goes a bit longer, if my desire to keep playing continues then that's great. If it doesn't, then I'm okay with that too."

Tasmania were runners-up in last year's Shield season, valiantly beaten by a dominant Queensland outfit in the season-decider in Brisbane.

But if the Tigers went one step further this summer and claimed the State's fourth Shield title, it's unlikely to have any bearing on Bailey's playing future.

"I don't think it will be team-related," he said.

"Winning is more fun than losing, but I think just seeing how hard people are working – we're seeing improvements all the time – that in itself, takes the results out of it, is enough to keep me coming back."

In addition to the inspiring attitude of his teammates, Bailey says a rare pre-season has worked wonders.

For the past three northern summers, Bailey has played in various forms of cricket in England for County outfits Hampshire and Middlesex, but in 2018 he stayed home to be with his young family.

And while he's been at home, Bailey – who has 150 first-class matches under his belt and almost 450 limited-overs contests – has only just picked up a bat, another effort to keep the hunger for runs groaning in his belly.

"I've loved having a winter at home," Bailey said.

"As far as my family life goes, it's been as normal a family life that we've had for awhile. That's been great.

"I've tried to stay as fresh as I could and I waited until I was really starting to miss batting and feeling a bit anxious about getting started.

"And then I tried to wait a couple more weeks after that, just to try and generate a feeling of anticipation and energy around batting.

"Just to make sure that when the competition starts, I'm hungry and ready so you don't fall into the trap of unknowingly dropping your intensity and attention to detail by five or 10 per cent.

"It's a subtle thing you don't notice until games start.

"I'm pretty conscious of making sure you want to get to the start of the season still feeling really hungry and almost replicating that feeling of being a little bit anxious or nervous and switched on at the start of an innings."

The 2017-18 Shield season was a rare down year for Bailey, who had been in stellar form in first-class cricket the previous two summers.

In 2015-16 he posted three centuries and 761 runs at 47.56 and a year later he hit a career-best 200 not out as part of a 839-run, 59.93-average season.

However, last season he managed just the one century and an average of 33.44, but his run-scoring deeds at the back-end of 2017 and in white-ball cricket won him the men's Domestic Player of the Year Award at the Allan Border Medal night.

All those runs in the past 12 months were scored using an unorthodox stance that sees his feet pointed to gully before straightening up moments before the bowler's release.

Like any good comedian will tell you, never use the same gag twice, and Bailey is keeping his cards close to his chest as to what approach we'll see this summer.

"I don't want to give too many trade secrets away," he said.

"One thing I have tried to do over the last 10 years is never do the same thing two years in a row.

"We'll have to wait and see."