‘Big achievement’: Jason Gillespie secures major appointment as Pakistan Test coach


Australian fast bowling great Jason Gillespie has been named head coach of Pakistan’s Test team, as the nation overhauls its coaching department ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup.

For the first time, Pakistan have appointed separate coaches to head up their Test and white-ball programs, with Gillespie to take charge of the Test team on a two-year contract while former South African great Gary Kirsten leads the ODI and T20I sides.

The appointment comes after Gillespie surprisingly resigned from his role as coach of South Australia’s Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup teams, as well as with BBL team Adelaide Strikers.

“Leading the Pakistan cricket team is a big achievement for any coach, given its rich legacy and passionate fan base,” Gillespie said in a statement.

“I understand there will be expectation and that comes with the role. All I can do is to take it in my stride and I would not have taken on the job if I did not think I could deal with it.”

Gillespie’s first assignment is a two-Test home series against Bangladesh in August, before the team faces England over three Tests in October.

The 49-year old played 71 Tests and 97 ODIs for Australia, forming a lethal opening bowling partnership with the legendary Glenn McGrath.

Jason Gillespie has been named head coach of Pakistan’s Test team. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

He played a key role in Australia’s successful Ashes tours of England in 1997 and 2001 before losing his place in the team after a poor performance in the famous 2005 series loss. However, he would return in 2006 for one last hurrah that featured one of the most famous performances in Australian cricket history – an unbeaten 201 coming in as nightwatchman against Bangladesh, the only one of its kind in Test history.

Following retirement, Gillespie moved seamlessly into coaching, winning acclaim as head coach of Yorkshire after securing promotion to Division One of the County Championship in his first season at the helm in 2011, then securing back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.

Considered a leading candidate for England’s then-vacant head coach position, he lost out narrowly to fellow Australian Trevor Bayliss.

He would depart Yorkshire in 2016 before a brief stint as head coach of Sussex, before returning to Australia in late 2020 to take the reins in South Australia.

Speaking to media, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Mohsin Naqvi said Gillespie and Kirsten were both well suited to revitalising Pakistan cricket ahead of a bumper year.

“Both Kirsten and Gillespie are famous and experienced coaches and their appointment confirms the trust the international community has in our team,” Naqvi said.

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