Gillespie excited over Yorkshire's future

First published in Yorkshire CCC News by

Jason Gillespie believes Yorkshire's first-team squad has the ideal blend of youth and experience.

The county's new first-team coach - he hopes to begin his new role in late January - has refuted suggestions that the players are at a low ebb after County Championship relegation last summer.

And he is confident of being able to get the very best out of them.

"My main attraction to the role was that Yorkshire have got a good group of experienced players as well as this great group of youngsters coming through," said the South Australian. "That's the most exciting aspect of it all."

As revealed yesterday, Gillespie is a stickler for preparation. As long as the players put in the hard yards in the nets, he believes they have a real mental edge.

"Players will know where they stand," continued the former Yorkshire and Glamorgan overseas player.

"There will be absolute open lines of communication between all the support staff and the players, and visa versa.

"We're all here to get better. Even as coaches, we're here to improve. Players are here to improve, and hopefully we can all take that out onto the ground and be successful."

Gillespie, 36, said immediately after his appointment that he wanted Yorkshire to play "positive cricket", which was something he reiterated at Headingley on Thursday afternoon.

"We will not be playing stupid, ridiculous attacking cricket, but we will be positive," he continued. "We will always be looking to win games.

"It's not always going to be possible in Championship cricket because sometimes you need to try and save a game. But we will definitely be looking at it as glass half full all of the time.

"I know Andrew Gale is very big on positive play, and we'll certainly be doing that."

One of the "great group of youngsters" Gillespie mentioned is Gary Ballance, who he knows well from his current role with the Mid West Rhinos franchise in Zimbabwe.

Ballance scored 1,263 runs in all competitions for Yorkshire last season despite not starting the summer in the first-team, while he has already scored three hundreds and two fifties in six four-day matches for the Rhinos this winter.

And Gillespie said of the 22 year-old: "I think he's a wonderful player, and he's turned into a good performer from his hard work and dedication.

"I could tell when he got to Zimbabwe last year - he only had a few first-class games under his belt and he was the overseas player. That was a lot of responsibility for him. The way he handled that impressed me greatly.

"He has continued to impress me this winter on the back of his season at Yorkshire.

"He belted 67 off 30 balls in a Twenty20 match recently, and he's got his couple of first-class hundreds. He's done very well. He's learning his game and still striving to improve. That's the most pleasing thing.

"I look forward to him working hard and continuing what he did last year.''

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