Gillespie backs Bayliss for England job
Jason Gillespie took the news that he has apparently been snubbed for the vacant England head coach's job with typically jocular sangfroid and said that if it had been up to him to choose from the candidates on England cricket director Andrew Strauss's shortlist then he would also have picked Trevor Bayliss.
He said that in his final telephone conversation with Strauss before play began on the second morning of Yorkshire's match at Taunton he had been told only that there was a "preferred candidate" and had been given to understand that his fellow Australian Bayliss was the ECB's choice to succeed Peter Moores.
But he exonerated Strauss from any blame in what appears to have been another embarrassing leak, with news that Bayliss had accepted the job gathering pace even with no official announcement.
"I knew before the news came out," Gillespie said. "That's one thing the ECB may need to work on because things do seem to be coming out but I spoke to Straussy early this morning and one thing I was impressed with is that Andrew was able to contact me and let me know. So I've absolutely no problem with that."
He fully endorsed Bayliss as the best man for the position following his successes in Australia with New South Wales and the Sydney Sixers, with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and with Sri Lanka, whom he took to the 2011 World Cup final.
"England wanted a coach with a proven track record, and if it is Trevor, as it appears likely, his track record's absolutely unbelievable," Gillespie said. "I've got absolutely no qualms about that. If I put myself in Andrew's shoes, I'd probably make the same decision if I'm honest.
"He is a very good operator and I've only heard good things about him. Farby [England's interim head coach Paul Farbrace] speaks very highly of him from the time he worked with him in Sri Lanka so I can't say anything negative. I wish him well."
Gillespie, the 40-year-old former Australia bowler, admitted he would have almost certainly taken the job had it been offered but found plenty of positives to balance his disappointment.
"I have always seen it as a win-win from my end," he said. "I have got two great jobs - here with Yorkshire and with Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash. If I had have got offered an international job I would have had to have seriously considered it, that's for sure. Either way, I don't see any negatives.
"My thoughts were: 'what is the worst that can happen?' Go and sit for an interview, which is another experience for me. I can only be better for that, I saw I had nothing to lose.
"Straussy said to me, 'You interviewed very well, but we have made a decision that we are going to go with another candidate.' I said, that's fine, mate. I wish you well. You've got to believe in your decisions and this is what your job is."
Gillespie admitted there were elements of the job as it was presented that were not ideal, but that the ECB's refusal to readmit Kevin Pietersen to the fold was not one of them.
"They made it very clear they've got a stance with Kev," he said. "I didn't have a problem with it. That certainly wasn't any issue."
Where he might have had second thoughts was over the length of time he would have been required to stay away from his young family. "It is a massive commitment and you are away from home a lot. It would have been something I would have had to consider, but I think if I did get offered it I would have jumped at it."