Yorkshire approve Gillespie BBL link
Yorkshire have pre-empted another raid on their coaching resources by allowing Jason Gillespie to discuss the possibility of involvement with a franchise in the Big Bash League.
Gillespie, Yorkshire's head coach, has emerged as a potential target for several BBL teams. Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Renegades, who finished last and third-last respectively in the 2014-15 competition, have vacancies, while Adelaide Strikers could also be looking for a new coach after Darren Berry took a break for personal reasons.
The window for franchises to begin recruiting ahead of the 2015-16 season is now open, with interest in Gillespie already being reported in his homeland. After discussions with Yorkshire chief executive, Mark Arthur, and director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, Gillespie will be given the opportunity to explore a BBL commission.
Yorkshire won the 2014 Championship under Gillespie but failed to get beyond the group stage in the NatWest T20 Blast. Their best T20 season, when they finished as runners-up in 2012, was also overseen by Gillespie and the club have spotted an opportunity to learn lessons from the thriving Big Bash.
"I am enjoying working at Yorkshire and we have lots of exciting challenges ahead, which I am very much looking forward to," Gillespie said. "I would be happy to chat to interested parties in the BBL regarding coaching opportunities if they feel that I can add value to what they are endeavouring to achieve.
"The important aspect is that Yorkshire are happy for me to pursue an interest in coaching during the next BBL campaign. Martyn Moxon and Mark Arthur see the benefits of testing myself in a developed competition and how that experience will benefit Yorkshire going forward."
Since arriving at Yorkshire ahead of the 2012 season, Gillespie has developed a reputation as one of the best young coaches in the game. He helped Yorkshire achieve promotion back to Division One of the Championship in his first season and then to a second-placed finish the following year. That was topped by 2014's title win, Yorkshire's first piece of silverware since 2002.
With the Big Bash running for six weeks over Christmas, a franchise role would be unlikely to inconvenience Yorkshire. Gillespie's links to South Australia, where he spent his playing career, could make the Strikers an attractive option, should Berry not return.
"We will not stand in Jason's way if he was to be approached by a BBL franchise," Arthur said. "We see it as a positive, which will enhance our reputation as a leading club across the world. Having our coach immersed in the BBL would gain invaluable insights into a competition that is highly rated. It will also give us a refined approach in our efforts to be successful in the NatWest T20 Blast competition.
"Jason is one of the most sought after coaches in the game and his approach and standing in the dressing room is helping us to become a very competitive side across all formats. He is very ambitious, but he is also fully aware that there is still also a lot of work to be done at Yorkshire."
Gillespie, whose 259 Test wickets make him his country's seventh most-successful bowler, played for Yorkshire in 2006 and 2007 and has continued to develop the county's already strong links with Australia. Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell will arrive as overseas players for 2015, while Tim Bresnan went the other way to appear in the BBL for Hobart Hurricanes.
Yorkshire's success, which has led to several players being called up by England and the Lions, has also increased interest in their backroom staff. They have seen two 2nd XI coaches poached in little more than a year, after Paul Farbrace left for Sri Lanka and then England, followed by Richard Dawson's appointment by Gloucestershire last month.
Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick