Sussex has roped in former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie as their next head coach. Gillespie’s decision to return to England, nonetheless, has contradicted his initial claims where he had said he was not looking to stay away from his family in Australia.
“It’s well known I have a young family and the consideration is do I want to be away from home for 250-plus nights a year?,” he had said last year while ending speculations that he would join the Australian team.
“At this point in my life, I am not prepared to be away from my family for that kind of time. I’m a young coach, and I have a lot to learn,” he added.
However, the former pacer, who recently had a brief spell with Papua New Guinea, seems to have changed his mind, as he took the surprising decision of becoming Sussex’s head coach, almost a year after stepping down as Yorkshire head coach.
Expressing his thrill over the new role, Gillespie said he was looking forward to helping the club achieve its goals.
“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity of taking the reins at such a proud and traditional club like Sussex,” Gillespie said. “Having spoken with both Keith [Greenfield, Sussex’s Director of Cricket] and Rob, I know that there is some excitement around the capabilities of the current playing group. I look forward to getting over there and playing my role in helping Sussex achieve its on and off-field goals for 2018 and beyond.”
Gillespie will replace Mark Davis as Sussex’s head coach who stepped down from the post last month, thus ending his two-year association with the club. Davis did not have the best of times at the clubs, and his stay further got ruined after rumours of dressing room unrest spread with experienced batsman Chris Nash surprisingly leaving to join Nottinghamshire.
Meanwhile, Gillespie will take charge of the club next year after finishing his coaching duties with Adelaide Strikers in the forthcoming Big Bash League.
Rob Andrew, Sussex’s chief executive, said the club is delighted to have an experienced coach like Gillespie and is hopeful that the newly-appointed coach would mould a young squad in a successful team.
“Jason is exactly the experienced Head Coach we had hoped we would attract to the role,” said Andrew. “He has enormous experience of the English county game after his very successful spell with Yorkshire. We believe we have a very talented young squad and we need a bit a bit of stability and a coach of Jason’s experience to help mould a successful team over the next few years.”
Gillespie is one of the most reputed coaches in English circuits, having guided Yorkshire to back to back Championship titles in 2014 and 2015. Gillespie had also enjoyed a very successful career, having been a part of the World Cup-winning squad of 2003. He represented Australia in 71 Tests, and 97 ODIs, picking up 259 and 142 wickets, respectively.
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