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Dizzy with relief as Gillespie says missing England job has worked out

Embrace the Christmas spirit and enjoy some cricket at the same time. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Roar Guru
31st August, 2016
2

Jason Gillespie has spoken of his relief at being overlooked for the England job last year.

The champion Australian quick was the clear early favourite to take control of the England cricket team last year when Peter Moores was dumped following a dismal World Cup and a drawn Test series with the West Indies.

But England sided with fellow Australian Trevor Bayliss and Gillespie says he can let out a sigh of relief at the outcome, admitting he was far from guaranteed to have accepted an offer.

“In a funny kind of way it’s worked out well,” Gillespie said.

“At the time, it would’ve been a difficult job to turn down – one of the best jobs in world cricket.

“You’d have to weigh that up. It would’ve been a tough decision … but I didn’t have to make that call.

“(And) it would’ve been tough to accept (as well).

“Everyone just assumes you’re going to take these roles and do things just because you’re offered it.

“But it’s not quite as straightforward as that.”

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For the same reason he’s reluctant to put his name forward for any positions with the Australian national team, Gillespie was hesitant to take on the all-encompassing England role as he didn’t want to spend time away from his young family.

The highly-rated mentor, who will step down from his role at English county side Yorkshire in the coming weeks and return to Australia, says his first job is as a husband and parent and that will taken precedence until his children are older.

Gillespie has four children with wife Anna – the youngest, Delaney, is 3 and the eldest, Jackson, 10 – and he doesn’t want to miss their formative years. He also has a granddaughter from a previous marriage.

That rules him out of international positions such as the Australian post held by Darren Lehmann, who plans to finish after the Ashes and World Cup in 2019, or the bowling job he knocked back earlier this year.

Lehmann was eager to get Gillespie back into the Australian system and gauged his interest in applying for the bowling position which was ultimately claimed by David Saker.

But Gillespie, who claimed 259 Test wickets in a decorated international career, knocked it back.

“He laid it all on the table, what the role would entail, and he left it with me,” Gillespie said on Wednesday.

“But the brutal reality was the amount of travel involved – 300 days a year away from home. “That doesn’t work with family.

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“I’m not saying it won’t in the future once the kids are a bit older but they’re a young, important age. ”

Consultancy roles with the national team – such as single-tour positions taken up by the likes of South African quick Allan Donald and Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan – would appeal more, Gillespie admits.

“Shorter-term roles, if someone feels I can add value in that then potentially I’d look at that,” he said.

“But to be honest I haven’t really thought about that.”

Gillespie will close out the domestic season with Yorkshire before returning to Adelaide, where his family recently moved back to, before resuming his role at the Adelaide Strikers as the Big Bash League ramps up over summer.

But before that, he insists it will be beach, golf and time with the family.