JASON Gillespie wants to use the experience of playing in one of the greatest teams in the history of cricket to help Yorkshire become a major force.
The former Australia fast bowler – appointed Yorkshire’s first-team coach on a two-year contract – plans to use the know-how gained at international level to bring the good times back to Headingley Carnegie.
Gillespie, 36, was a key member of the all-conquering Australia sides of the Nineties and Noughties.
He believes lessons learned from that heady period can be filtered through to his young Yorkshire charges.
“We had some wonderful players in those Australian teams and we mustn’t forget that,” said Gillespie, who will start work at Headingley at the end of January.
“We had some of the greatest players who have ever played the game, so that obviously helped us.
“At the same time, there were things that those Australian teams did that can be taken on board by any side.
“They can be used to good effect at any level.
“In particular, the one thing that really stood out for me was that there was always a focus on what we could do as a team, what we could control.
“There are always other things around that you have no control over, so why worry about them?
“But the things that you can control, we made sure we looked after those, looked after our own backyard, so to speak.
“That’s what I’ve tried to bring into my coaching so far, and what I’ll be trying to bring to Yorkshire.”
High among Gillespie’s priorities is the importance of instilling self-belief and the ability to stay calm under pressure.
Such characteristics underpinned Australia’s era of dominance, with Gillespie and colleagues able to turn around practically any situation, no matter how unpromising.
“The message to the players will be not to get too flustered with those things that don’t really matter,” added Gillespie.
“If I’m talking to a bowler, for example, and they bowl the best ball they could possibly bowl and the batter hits a good shot and gets it to the fence, then I’ll be telling him not to get too despondent,” he said.
“At the end of the day, batters are allowed to play good shots and it doesn’t say anything in the rule book that they can’t.
“But the important thing is that there’s still a lot more balls in the day, still a lot more opportunities to get batsmen out.”
Gillespie exuded positivity during a press conference at Headingley yesterday during a flying visit to England to meet the Yorkshire squad.
He is currently coaching Zimbabwe franchise MidWest Rhinos, where he has displayed a penchant for managing players.
“I want us to play positive cricket at Yorkshire,” he stressed.
“Not stupid, ridiculous attacking cricket, but positive cricket.
“I know Andrew Gale (the Yorkshire captain) is very keen on positive play and we’ll be looking at it with the glass half-full all the time.
“We will always be looking to try to win games.”
Gillespie is delighted with the attitude of the Yorkshire players.
He said you could never tell the club had just been relegated in the County Championship.
“I’ve met the lads and had a good chat with them, albeit informally,” he added.
“I outlined a couple of my thoughts on how I’d like the first team to go about things moving forward and they were very receptive.
“There was certainly no air of despair, so to speak, after what happened last season.
“I saw the guys train at David Lloyd and I tell you what, those guys are fit and really excited about the up-coming season.
“Yorkshire have got a good group of experienced players as well as a great group of players coming through, and that’s the most exciting aspect for me.
“Potential is one of those words that gets bandied around a hell of a lot, but these guys can play – plain and simple.
“It’s my challenge to help create an environment in which they can thrive.
“That’s what I’ll be endeavouring to do to the best of my ability.”
Gillespie will pick the first XI along with Gale, with director of cricket Martyn Moxon adopting more of an overseeing role.
In addition to using Moxon’s eyes and ears, Gillespie can call on the advice of second team coach Paul Farbrace, who has previously worked with Kent and Sri Lanka.
“I’m working with some fantastic coaches here,” said Gillespie.
“I’ve got Martyn Moxon and also Paul Farbrace, who is very experienced and has coached around the world.
“I’m a very lucky man in that sense because I’ve got these guys that I can tap into and gain some more knowledge and learn from.
“That can only help myself and the players to get better.”
Watch a video interview with Jason Gillespie online at yorkshirepost.co.uk/video