Former bowler slams Cricket Australia December 6, 2008

'Test cricket is in trouble' - Gillespie

Cricinfo staff

Jason Gillespie flies into bowl for the Ahmedabad Rockets in the ICL © ICL

The former Australia fast bowler, Jason Gillespie, has issued a stinging attack on Cricket Australia for its treatment of him and accused the board of ingratiating itself with the BCCI.

Gillespie's association with the unsanctioned ICL effectively led to his banishment from first-class cricket. And although he is in the autumn of his career, he nevertheless feels his international career has consequently been unfairly curtailed by CA's position on the status of ICL players.

"For guys like myself and [fellow ICL players] Jimmy Maher and Michael Kasprowicz, our time playing international cricket has gone by, but some of us would like to still represent our states," Gillespie told Adelaide's Sunday Mail. "It's quite sad. The ICL isn't wanting to take guys out of state cricket and Test cricket. In our contracts it clearly states that if you are asked by your state or country to play that form of cricket, ICL will not stand in your way."

"The problem is the BCCI have come out and said they're upset and won't allow it. He [Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman] said the IPL would not affect the future tours programme, but clearly it has."

Unlike the IPL, the ICL is not officially recognised by the ICC. Subsequently, certain boards banished players from representing their domestic teams, and the boards' apparent kowtowing to the BCCI marks a worrying time for Test cricket, Gillespie felt.

"I can see a time where countries will be bypassing Test cricket altogether," he said. "With more Twenty20 Leagues, it will go the way where representing your country will take a back seat. For Australian and English players it will always be the pinnacle, but I'm not sure it's the pinnacle for any other countries.

"All other countries don't see Test cricket as the be-all and end-all any more. Test cricket is in trouble, there's no doubt about that."

Now 33, Gillespie is turning his attention to coaching, but even that may be restricted by CA. "I was talking to Troy Cooley [Australian head bowling coach] before and he's keen to get me into the Centre of Excellence but I'm hoping these ridiculous rules of Cricket Australia don't extend to coaching because I think that would be quite sad."