As Andrew Strauss confirmed that Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie is among the candidates to replace Peter Moores as England coach, club captain Andrew Gale was quick to praise the impact the former Australian quick bowler has had at Headingley during his tenure. Gale also had words of encouragement for his Yorkshire colleague Joe Root, who was appointed as England vice-captain.
Asked about the news that England are interested in Gillespie, Gale said: “It’s no surprise. It’s been well-documented in the press for a couple of days now. We’ve had no formal approach as a club from the ECB. If that approach does come along, then I’m sure Martyn [Moxon] will deal with that, and Jason will have a long, hard think and a sit down with his family to decide what happens. But as far as we’re concerned, at this moment in time he is head coach of Yorkshire.
“He’s had a massive impact on the club over the last three years. You only have to see how far we’ve come as a club, and it’s clear our relationship has been very strong, one a lot of people admire as captain and coach around the country.
“A big job came for him last week with the South Australia job. It must have been very flattering for his home state to come calling, and it was a very lucrative deal I believe. He turned that deal down, his family and his wife are very settled, his kids are very settled in Yorkshire at school, so that’s a decision only he and his wife can make.”
Gale also hoped that if Gillespie were to leave, then the club would find a replacement who would keep the 2014 County Champions moving in the same direction: “Jason’s impact has been massive, and our relationship’s been very strong in driving the club forward. It will be something that we’ll have to sit down with Martyn and discuss if that does happen. I’d like to think that we can get someone who’s of a similar mind-set. I think the club needs that mind-set, that positive approach to the game. But he’s got some big boots to fill, definitely.
“There’s no hidden magic to what he does, it’s very simple. He just keeps things very simple, but what he does is gives the players a lot of confidence. He’s a very positive guy and he expects players to train hard, but he likes his players to entertain the public as well. I’m sure that if England do come knocking for Jason and he takes over, they’ll be playing in a different fashion to what they are doing now.”
Gillespie has taken Yorkshire from the second division of the County Championship to the title within three seasons, losing only three matches in the process. This domestic success has also helped out the national side, with the county providing six members of England’s most recent touring squad to the West Indies.
On Joe Root’s appointment as England vice-captain, Gale was clear that there is a bright future ahead for his Yorkshire colleague, who deputised as White Rose skipper during his suspension at the end of last season:
“There’s no doubt sometime down the line that Joe will be a strong candidate for the England job. He’s had some leadership experience with us when I’ve been away and he’s done the job very well. He’s a very mature lad, he brings a lot of energy to the group, and his tactical nous is exceptional. This is another stepping-stone to the full job for him.”
The speculation about Gillespie’s future is rife in the cricketing press and on social media. But on the field and in the dressing room, it was business as usual as Yorkshire yesterday wrapped up victory against newly promoted Hampshire, stepping up their robust defence of the LV County Championship title.