Australian news June 3, 2011

Gillespie named assistant coach of Australia A

ESPNcricinfo staff

The former fast bowler Jason Gillespie has been brought in to Cricket Australia's circle of coaching staff, having been appointed an assistant for this month's Australia A tour of Zimbabwe. Gillespie, 36, will support the head coach Troy Cooley on the month-long trip, which includes one-day and four-day matches.

Earlier in the year, Gillespie applied for the job as Australia's bowling coach, which was recently given to Craig McDermott. But he did enough to impress Cricket Australia's bosses, who have shown an inclination to embrace former star players who are interested in coaching; along with McDermott, the 105-Test veteran Justin Langer is now part of the full-time staff.

Gillespie has recently finished a stint as the bowling coach with the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL and last year, he mentored the MidWest Rhinos in Zimbabwe's domestic competition. He earned a positive reputation for his work with the young team, which followed on from him being part of Cricket Australia's elite coach development program, which started in 2008.

"[The program] allows CA to fast track former players who show a desire to ascend to the highest levels of cricket coaching in this country," CA's general manager of cricket operations, Michael Brown, said. "Justin Langer, Darren Lehmann, and Jason Gillespie were all part of the first wave of former players to be part of this program and they are all now coaching at either national or state level, as is Craig McDermott, another program member.

"In Jason's case, CA feels this A tour presents a good opportunity to further enhance his elite coaching experience. Jason has recently coached in Zimbabwe and understands the conditions we'll face there. Many of the young upcoming players he'll be working with followed Jason's successful international career as schoolboys."

Gillespie, who took 259 wickets in 71 Tests for Australia, said he was looking forward to helping the Australia A players under his watch.

"This is a really good opportunity for me to learn more about coaching at this level from the likes of Troy Cooley," Gillespie said. "This Australia A tour allows me to further dip my toe into the elite coaching system, to work with some of the best young cricket talent in Australia and to learn from experienced bowling coaches like Troy."

The trip begins with a one-day tri-series involving Zimbabwe and South Africa A, before two four-day matches against the hosts. The players head to Brisbane on Monday for a training camp at the Centre of Excellence before they depart for Zimbabwe on June 25.