CRICKET: England made the right call not to choose me as head coach, says Yorkshire’s Jason Gillespie

Jason Gillespie
Jason Gillespie

Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie admits he would probably have made the same decision as Andrew Strauss had he been in charge of finding the next England coach after missing out on the post himself.

The 40-year-old Australian had been the clear frontrunner for the England job until his compatriot Trevor Bayliss was instead unveiled as the England and Wales Cricket Board’s preferred candidate.

Trevor Bayliss

Trevor Bayliss

Tykes coach Gillespie revealed he had been brought up to speed by new ECB director of cricket Strauss and respects the former England captain’s choice, admitting: “If I put myself in Andrew’s shoes, I’d probably make the same decision, if I’m honest.”

The recent consensus was that the ECB would recruit former Australia fast bowler Gillespie in time for this summer’s Ashes, but former Sri Lanka coach Bayliss was confirmed in the role on Tuesday.

Gillespie told Sky Sports on Monday: “I’ve spoken to Andrew Strauss and I’m not that preferred candidate, so that’s their call. I think it would have been a good job to have, no question.

“There’s exciting times ahead for English cricket and it would have been a great challenge, but it’s not to be.”

HELLO AGAIN: Andrew Strauss, left, with current England captain Alastair Cook.

HELLO AGAIN: Andrew Strauss, left, with current England captain Alastair Cook.

The former bowler also said any stance taken by the ECB over Kevin Pietersen’s international future would not have been a problem for him had he been offered the England job.

He added: “They made it very clear they’ve got a stance - I’m referring to Kev - and I didn’t have a problem with it.

“There were no issues and that has nothing to do with it. From my end, I supported the decisions made and when you go into a job, you cannot just come in and say, ‘I’m doing this, I’m doing that’.

“You need to get a feel for it, get to know people and understand the role, you can’t just come in and go whizz, bang, wallop.”

Gillespie, who will also coach Adelaide Strikers in the Australian Big Bash League, stressed he would be concentrating on his coaching duties at county champions Yorkshire, where he foresees “exciting times” ahead.

He added: “These are exciting times for Yorkshire and it’s far from all doom and gloom from my point of view.

“We’ve made it very clear that we want to improve our one-day cricket and we feel as though we’ve got the squad to compete in all forms of the game.”

Meanwhile, Bayliss is still getting his head round the prospect of taking on his native country again - but admits it was an opportunity he simply could not refuse.

Bayliss, set to arrive in England next month in time for the start of the Ashes in July, will renew a successful partnership with assistant coach and current caretaker Paul Farbrace after their time together in charge of Sri Lanka.

England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss praised the 52-year-old’s “outstanding record as a coach” and described Bayliss’ “expertise in the shorter forms of the game” as “vital” - with a Champions Trophy and then World Cup set to be played in this country in the next four years.

It was in the course of his discussions with Strauss, before Bayliss’ appointment was confirmed by the ECB on Tuesday afternoon, that he realised this was a chance he simply had to take.

His allegiance to his current role as New South Wales coach meant it was no easy decision but, ultimately, an inevitable one to accept the position which became available after England sacked Peter Moores this month.

“It definitely wasn’t an easy decision... (but) talking to Strauss, it got to a point where it was something I couldn’t refuse,” Bayliss told ecb.co.uk.

“It’s obviously one of the big jobs in the cricket world.

“To be asked to go on the short-list was good enough - to be successful and get it is an unbelievable feeling, a huge opportunity and one I’m looking forward to very much.

“The opportunity to go and work with an international team with the history of England - it’s a bit hard to comprehend, to be honest.”