'I'm one of the best bowlers in the country' January 14, 2007

Old-age perception annoys Gillespie

Cricinfo staff

Jason Gillespie has been a force for South Australia © Getty Images

Jason Gillespie insists he is still one of Australia's best bowlers and the selectors should stop looking at his age. Gillespie, 31, has not been included for any of Australia's matches this season and he was surprised when Shane Harwood, who is a year older, was picked for the Twenty20 against England last week.

"There's this perception that I'm too old and it's cr**," Gillespie told the Sunday Mail. "They shouldn't be discounting me because I'm one of the best bowlers in the country and they should be looking at me."

Gillespie, who is fourth on the Pura Cup wicket list with 20 at 22.90, said the current decisions "annoy me". "The selectors talk about bringing youth into the side and then I look at the Twenty20 game and they pick Shane Harwood," he said. "The perception is I'm older than I really am.

"Age can't be a factor. The selectors clearly feel I don't fit into the Australian team's plans. But I'm going to keep taking wickets and gradually eliminate their reasons for not picking me."

Despite his desire to return, Gillespie does not expect to be part of Australia's next contract list. His last Test was in Bangladesh, when he scored 201 and was the Man of the Series, but he was overlooked for the Ashes series and the 30-man preliminary squad for the World Cup.

"It didn't kill me to miss the Ashes but to not even be in the framework for selection was hard to accept," he said. Gillespie, who has played 71 Tests, was initially dropped during the 2005 tour of England.

"I've resigned myself to the fact I won't be on the contract list," he told the paper. "It shows how much they don't rate me any more. I don't think they even wanted to give me a CA contract this year but it would have looked silly not to give me one after my Test against Bangladesh.

"It's almost as if I'm a bit of a fall-back plan if the s*** hits the fan. It happened in Bangladesh. Glenn McGrath took time out, Shaun Tait and Michael Kasprowicz were injured and Stuart Clark missed the second Test and it was like, 's***, we've got no options left, we'll just play Dizzy again'."