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Jason Gillespie’s golden lease of life with Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Jason Gillespie is planning on a long-term stay at Headingley.
Yorkshire’s first-team coach, appointed a year ago tomorrow, has enjoyed a memorable start to his role, one which he describes as “a dream job”.
The Australian fast bowling legend helped guide the county back to the LV= County Championship’s top tier at the first time of asking as well as enjoying success in Twenty20 as well.
Not only did Yorkshire reach the final of the Friends Life t20, only to be beaten narrowly by Hampshire at Cardiff, they also qualified for the group stages of the Champions League t20 in South Africa last month with a squad depleted by injury and unavailability.
It has all contributed to markedly raising Gillespie’s profile as a coach.
And, although he has not been directly linked to any jobs in the international arena, it would be no surprise to see that happen in the near future for a man who has already held coaching roles with Australia ‘A’ and at the Indian Premier League as well as at domestic level in Zimbabwe.
But, as things stand, any offer would be rebuffed due to the 37-year-old’s love for life at Yorkshire.
“I’ve got a young family and my wife’s due with our fourth,” said Gillespie, who already has three boys with Anna, although the latest addition to their family will be a fully-fledged ‘Yorkie’.
“We’ll have a six-year-old, a four-year-old, a two-year-old and a newborn. Do I want to be away for two months of the year? The answer is no.
“Cutting my teeth at county level at this stage of my career is perfect.
“You are still busy and spending time away from home, but it’s not the long absences you get at international level. You’re away for a week in the summer, home for two, away for a week, home for two and so on. That’s manageable.”
Added Gillespie: “I’m not saying I’d rule out an opportunity to coach at international level, but at this stage it isn’t on my agenda.
“I spent a couple of years in Zimbabwe, which is a wonderful country. One day I’d like to be involved in their cricket again if they get a few things together. I’d love to help out, but that’s a long way down the track.
“I’m concentrating on Yorkshire and want to be here for a long time to come. I absolutely love it here.
“There’s a lot of potential to win trophies and have some success.
“We are a strong unit. We play to our strengths, we have absolute belief in every player, each player has belief in their team-mates to get the job done, which is what good teams do. That’s how teams succeed.
“It’s exciting and what I want to do for the next few years.” No sooner had Gillespie arrived at Yorkshire, he was under pressure to deliver the goods. After the poor performances of 2011, another season of underachievement was just not an option.
But things have worked out well despite the wet weather coming close to ruining their promotion bid.
And performances in Twenty20, which ultimately enabled a largely inexperienced squad to pit their wits against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Kieron Pollard and MS Dhoni in South Africa last month, were a huge bonus.
“I’ve had an absolute ball this year,” added Gillespie, who spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons as Yorkshire’s overseas player.
“I’m in my dream job. You have aspirations to coach, and one of my big goals coming into coaching was to do it at county level.
“To be able to coach a county that is close to my heart is nothing short of a dream come true.
“To be afforded this opportunity, I’m very thankful for it. I’m very humble about the faith shown in me by the club, particularly director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon. He’s been a wonderful mentor.
“To work with Paul Farbrace has been fantastic too. I’d never met Farbs before this season, but we talk a lot about it now – it’s like we’ve been working together for years.
“We also have some great support staff. Tom (Summers, strength and conditioning coach) and Fiz (Scot McAllister, physio) are the best in their field. That shows in our record of keeping guys on the park. Yorkshire are lucky to have these guys.
“We also have a very special group of players here, and to be able to come into this environment and work with all of these guys has been a real learning curve for me.”