What Jason Gillespie taught us as Yorkshire coach

Posted by
< 1 minute read
Jason Gillespie looking all serious at Scarborough (via Yorkshire CCC Twitter video)
Jason Gillespie looking all serious at Scarborough (via Yorkshire CCC Twitter video)

Jason Gillespie’s leaving Yorkshire at the end of the season. Disappointingly, he never picked up the accent.

We always thought that Gillespie would make a terrible coach on the grounds that he did a really bad job of explaining his nickname in a TV interview in about 2003.

He has turned out to be a brilliant coach. We have learned from this.

What we have learned, specifically, is that Jason Gillespie is a brilliant coach.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Do we ever really know if someone is a brilliant coach? My inner sceptic wonders if we ever see a statistically significant sample size of how they interact with all the variables (money, players, opposition) required to see if they are truly “brilliant” or even “somewhat better than average”.

    What if they just so happen to be coaching a bunch of players who were coming into their primes? Or they thrust a youngster into the fray who turns out to be excellent but in fact could just as well have been awful, because the coach’s judgment was actually completely independent of the quality of the player? Or they don’t play a youngster who subsequently drops out of cricket altogether after just a handful of disappointing first XI matches under the previous coach, but who would have turned out to be world-class if only he had been kept on – not that we would ever know, of course.

    1. Did you watch the Sky documentary which followed Yorkshire through the season last year? A few clues there as to Gillespie’s coaching and management style.

    2. There is a limit to what a coach can achieve. They can’t turn a club cricketer into Sobers, but if players have in general improved and the fortunes of the team have improved, the coach has played a part – if only because it’s so easy to accidentally undermine things.

      We can never know how things would have panned out under a different coach, but players like Root, Bairstow, Rashid and Plunkett have all improved markedly under Gillespie. Lyth, Lees and Ballance are also on the fringes of the England side – which is no mean achievement.

      Maybe this would have happened anyway. Maybe Yorkshire have just happened upon a generation of players including not only the names above but also strong replacements when they’re on England duty. All we can really say for certain is that all of those players shared a common environment during the last few years of nurture and prior to this some, if not most of them weren’t all that.

      To repeat ourself, there is a limit to what a coach can do – but when margins are small, those positives can make the difference.

      1. I suppose there will always be more critical attention on coaches when their team is floundering at the bottom of the table rather than riding a wave of sucess. Can this be said of Mick Newell? As you said KC, Notts seem to have a lot of good players who aren’t playing paticularly well.

      2. Yorkshire having many strong players simultaneously isn’t a massive surprise. This is not a criticism of Gillespie at all, just an observation that for many decades it’s a county which has had regular peaks of strength in depth, surprisingly often being (I’d guesstimate) comparable to a mid-ranked Test side.

        I’m very curious as to whether Peak Durham is ever attained again in our lifetimes – or alternatively, in the county’s lifetime. In their short life they’ve had a remarkable record, but I wonder if it’ll pan out to be one of those “once in a blue moon” things as it has been when Glamorgan or Essex have had their little spells of strength in depth.

      3. Even if they’re likely to lose a few, Durham do still seem to be producing plenty of top players. They probably always will being as in those parts it isn’t a game only for the kinds of people who ask you what school you went to.

      4. Apropos of nothing. I was thinking about booking a ticket to Lords in Sept for the county match. When tickets are available on the gate, can anyone tell me why tickets are only available online for the grandstand? Surely all the other stands can’t be already taken?

    1. Foolish, bears, unleasing the might of the Somerset tail upon a moderately-challenging-sounding required rate.

      1. Why am I always sitting at my desk in the office when these things happen? I’m this close to unleashing a guttural “YOUUUU BEEEEARS”.

  2. On a scale of 1 to Michael Holding what do you make of Neil Wagner’s performance against South Africa?

  3. Ian Botham! Vic Marks! Piran Holloway! Joss Buttler! Can you hear me, Joss Butler?

    Shove it up all of your arses.

    We’re going to Wembley!


    1. I had words line up for you, Sam, choice words, if we’d somehow in a Wagnerian feat managed to get those eight poxy runs that your team got batsmen to score for you, you wimps.

    1. He’s 19 years old. 19!

      Why the rush? Give him a bloody chance to grow some facial hair.

      Nick Hoult says: “Bangladesh and India are ideal places for a young opener to start his Test career because the new ball often provides the easiest opportunities to score.”


      1. Might be some truth in that, batting on roads against friendly medium-fast bowling… easier than starting off at Headingley in May, for example…

    2. Not yet, Bradders.

      I caught much of Day Two of the Middlesex v Lancashire match – reported in non-KC-stylee on the following link, but the lad had done his bit by then. Despite the ridiculously high-scoring scorecard, that first morning at Lord’s was, by all accounts, a non-trivial business to negotiate. I heard the internet commentary for much of that first session on the Sunday. Word on the Lord’s pavilion terrace the next day was indeed that the youngster really can bat.


      I’m hoping to get a proper look at Hameed at Old Trafford in a couple of weeks’ time.

Comments are closed.