ICL ban extended December 19, 2008

Cricket Australia blocks Gillespie coaching move

Cricinfo staff

Jason Gillespie's ICL links have made him unpopular with Cricket Australia © ICL

Jason Gillespie has been barred by Cricket Australia from coaching Australia's young fast bowlers because he plays in the unofficial Indian Cricket League. The BCCI's refusal to sanction the league, and Cricket Australia's backing of the Indian board, means no player is eligible to continue his state or international career in Australia while he takes part in the ICL.

But the latest move to block Gillespie from coaching at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane points to an extension of the ban. Australia's bowling coach Troy Cooley invited Gillespie to spend a fortnight at the academy working with promising teenage fast bowlers but Gillespie said he was not allowed to take up the offer.

"I just found out that, because of my involvement in the ICL, that doesn't allow me to go and do any coaching there, which I think is quite unusual," Gillespie told the Age. "It would have been two weeks working with under-age kids. Blokes are available to help and they don't want to use us."

Peter Young, the Cricket Australia spokesman, said the move was not a reflection on Gillespie, who with 259 Test victims is Australia's sixth highest wicket taker of all time. "It is a common view among all ICC nations that we don't support unofficial competitions," Young said. "Where unofficial competitions recruit players from our stables it transfers value out of official cricket into other places, including into the pockets of private entrepreneurs.

"Based on that principle, we didn't believe it was appropriate to go ahead with a coaching offer. Where a player is involved in an unofficial competition, they are unable to support our cricket. It is the same as it was back in the early '70s with value being transferred out of community-owned cricket and into privately owned cricket."

Gillespie retired from first-class cricket this year, in October enjoyed his first stint with the Ahmedabad Rockets in the ICL and after Christmas will return to Adelaide's grade competition. He said it was strange that Cricket Australia seemed unwilling to use the expertise being offered by former players like himself.

"I'm finding it quite funny more than anything," Gillespie said. "Why don't they just come out and say they are scared of India and be done with it? That would shut me up. Don't give us lip-service."