Gillespie tips Plunkett for an England return

First published in Sport by

JASON GILLESPIE is not worried about the possibility of having his Yorkshire squad significantly hit by international call-ups next summer.

In fact, the Australian is happy to see more of it.

As the White Rose firstteam coach enjoys a rest following a busy first summer in charge at Headingley, five of his players are on winter duty with either the full England squad or the Performance Programme squad.

Tim Bresnan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are currently in India preparing for a four-Test series, while Azeem Rafiq and Gary Ballance fly out to the same country for a training camp with the EPP party this month.

It means there is every chance that Yorkshire could be depleted at various stages in the summer of 2013 with a hectic international schedule and the usual smattering of England Lions matches.

But that does not concern the South Australian, who believes his squad is packed with England potential.

“We’re losing Jonny for large chunks of the season and Brez has not played much for Yorkshire for the last couple of years now,” said Gillespie.

“You can look at it from a pure club point of view, and it’s disappointing not to have your best players available.

But at the same time, it shows Yorkshire are doing things right.

“That’s our goal. If we can get six players in that England set-up, we’ll take that every day of the week.”

Gillespie has recruited two new fast bowlers, with Liam Plunkett arriving from Durham and Jack Brooks from Northamptonshire.

Plunkett has played Test, one-day and Twenty20 international cricket in the past, while Brooks has played for the England Lions 12 times in 2012.

Some sort of representative cricket for the latter is more realistic next year, but Gillespie added: “I’ve been a longtime admirer of Liam Plunkett’s work.

“I think he’ll play for England again – I’ve no doubt about that. If we can give him a nudge in the right direction, great.

“Jack is another who’s made no secret of his desire to play for England, and our role is to help these guys along.

“It’s not just about new signings, it’s the same with all the players in our squad who want to play for England.

Even if it means we lose them for periods of time, we see that as a real success.”

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