Gillespie will be taking the PNG job part-time due to his commitments with the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League. With the Australia A tour to South Africa cancelled due to the ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association, Gillespie, who is also the head coach of the A side, is now free to join the PNG squad in Port Moresby later this month. Gillespie's coaching experience also includes time with English county Yorkshire.
"I'm really excited about it, as much to have another cricketing experience with another team and another country," Gillespie told cricket.com.au. "It broadens my experiences and broadens my learning and hopefully it will hold me in good stead going forward."
Gillespie will be taking over at a busy time for the team, which is set to play a series of matches in Australia against the Australian Indigenous team and Queensland XI, before hosting Scotland for two matches in October as part of their push for 2019 World Cup qualification.
"I'm just excited to see how these guys go about their work. I've heard a lot of very good things," Gillespie said. "Papua New Guinea played against Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi in the preseason and I spoke to a few of my friends at Yorkshire and they said the PNG guys were fantastic."
Patel, who was appointed in August 2014, had left the post after he and the PNG board reportedly could not agree on the terms for an extended contract.