Jason Gillespie

Jason Neil Gillespie (born 19 April 1975) is an Australian cricket coach and former cricketer who played all three formats of the game. A right-arm fast bowler, he was also a competent lower-order batsman whose unbeaten 201 in his last Test match is the highest score by a night-watchman in international cricket.

Jason Gillespie
Jason Gillespie Portrait.jpg
Personal information
Full nameJason Neil Gillespie
Born (1975-04-19) 19 April 1975 (age 46)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
BowlingRight-arm fast
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 370)29 November 1996 v West Indies
Last Test16 April 2006 v Bangladesh
ODI debut (cap 127)30 August 1996 v Sri Lanka
Last ODI12 July 2005 v England
ODI shirt no.4
Only T20I (cap 12)13 June 2005 v England
Domestic team information
1994/95–2007/08South Australia
Head coaching information
2017Papua New Guinea (interim)
2020–South Australia
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 71 97 189 192
Runs scored 1,218 201 3,742 640
Batting average 18.73 12.56 19.59 14.22
100s/50s 1/2 0/0 3/10 0/0
Top score 201* 44* 201* 44*
Balls bowled 14,234 5,144 35,372 10,048
Wickets 259 142 613 255
Bowling average 26.13 25.42 26.98 27.40
5 wickets in innings 8 3 22 3
10 wickets in match 0 0 2 0
Best bowling 7/37 5/22 8/50 5/22
Catches/stumpings 27/– 10/– 68/– 31/–
Source: CricInfo, 10 December 2018

Gillespie made his One Day International debut against Sri Lanka at Colombo in the Singer World Series in August 1996, and his Test debut against the West Indies at Sydney in November 1996. He also played for South Australia, Yorkshire and Glamorgan at first-class level, and was an AIS Australian Cricket Academy scholarship holder in 1995.[1]

Gillespie announced his retirement from first-class cricket in Australia in February 2008. He then played in the unauthorised Indian Cricket League for the Ahmedabad Rockets.[2][3] At the end of the 2008 English domestic season he retired from all first-class cricket.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Jason Gillespie is a descendant on his father's side of the Kamilaroi people of Indigenous Australians, and is the first acknowledged Aboriginal male to become a Test cricketer.[2][5] His mother has Greek heritage and Jason is the eldest of the three children.[6] He attended Cabra Dominican College in Adelaide, South Australia. Gillespie married Anna (née McEvoy) in 2003. The couple have four children.[7][8] Gillespie has another daughter from a previous relationship.[9]

Gillespie is a vegan and has criticised dairy farming and the use of leather balls. While coaching Yorkshire, Gillespie said of the club being sponsored by a dairy: "Yes, they are a sponsor but it doesn't mean I agree with what they do. It's out of my control, just like the fact that cricket balls are made of leather".[10][11]

Gillespie is an atheist.[12]

Domestic careerEdit

Gillespie made his first Australian domestic century in a Pura Cup match in the 2007/08 season against Tasmania. He put on a 250-run partnership with the South Australian wicketkeeper Graham Manou, who made 190.

Gillespie made his first English first-class century exactly a year later on his 32nd birthday in a County Championship match versus Surrey at The Oval whilst playing for Yorkshire. He hit an unbeaten 123 and in doing so, alongside Tim Bresnan, set a record ninth-wicket partnership for Yorkshire. The pair put on 246. Gillespie's 123 not out was also the highest score for Yorkshire by a number 10 batsman.

International careerEdit


Gillespie took 259 wickets in 71 Tests (at an average of 26.13) making him Australia's sixth-highest wicket-taker and giving him the 14th best bowling average for Australian bowlers who have taken more than a hundred wickets.[13]

He bowled at 140–150 km/h (around 90 mph) in his early career up to about 2001. When he made his comeback in the 2001/02 season, he bowled more consistently, but at a speed of about 135–145 km/h. Repeated injuries forced him to operate from a shorter run-up and therefore reduce his pace.

Gillespie seldom dominated a Test series (the most wickets he took in a series is 20), but he was a reliable support bowler over several years for his more famous teammates Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. For his performances in 2004, he was named both in the World Test XI and ODI XI by the ICC.[14] However, Gillespie's career suffered an unexpectedly sharp decline. In early 2005, there were signs that he was struggling, with poor displays against New Zealand, but he was still considered Australia's leading fast-bowling partner for McGrath. This poor form continued into the 2005 Ashes series where he took just three wickets at a cost of 300 runs and was dropped after the third Test.

Gillespie took 40 wickets for South Australia during the 2005/06 Pura Cup Season. He was the fourth-highest wicket taker in the competition, with an average (21.3) far below the other leading wicket takers. His best figures came against Victoria where he took 7–35. These performances saw him make a return to the Australian Test side against Bangladesh after injury problems to the first choice attack. Gillespie was named man of the series after taking eight wickets and making a double century in the two Tests, but he was never selected to play for Australia again.


Gillespie occasionally proved his worth with the bat, with a highest Test score of 201 not out and an average of 18.73. He is the only player in Test cricket with a career batting average of less than 20 to score 200 runs in an innings. He demonstrated a solid defensive game, known by teammates as 'The Walking Forward Defence', and despite not regularly making big scores, he was a difficult batsman to dismiss and occupied the crease for substantial periods of time, allowing his batting partners time to get bigger scores. His low back lift helped him to defend or deflect shots from spin bowlers more readily.

He has a one-day international high score of 44 not out and he averages 12.6 in one-day internationals with a strike rate of 78.5.

Glenn McGrath (61) and Gillespie (54*) shared a last-wicket stand of 114 against New Zealand in 2004 at the Gabba[15] to the hilarity and acclaim of their teammates. It was the first time that either of them had made a 50 in either Test or ODI versions of the game.[16]

In the second Test against Bangladesh at Chittagong on 19 April 2006, Gillespie (201 not out) set the world record (on his 31st birthday) for the highest individual score by a night watchman. This was his maiden first-class century. He also shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 320 runs with Michael Hussey. Gillespie was awarded man-of-the-match honours for his double-century in the first innings and he was also named man of the series for his efforts that included eight wickets, at an average of 11.3. It was his final match in international cricket. Gillespie is the only night watchman to score a double century in a Test.[17][18][19]


Jason Gillespie preparing to bowl for South Australia against Western Australia in January 2007

Throughout his career, Gillespie had bad luck with injuries, suffering from foot injuries, stress fractures in the back, hip twinges, side-strains, shoulders, torn calves, aching hamstrings, groin complaints and a broken right leg. He played only 52 from a possible 92 Tests following his debut to his axing during the 2005 Ashes series.[20][21] Despite these problems, he was both accurate and economical.

In Australia's 1999 tour of Sri Lanka, he was involved in a sickening outfield collision when both he and Steve Waugh were running to take a catch. Waugh was running from the infield towards the outfield, while Gillespie was running in. Waugh dived for the ball resulting in his nose and Gillespie's right leg being broken. The catch was not taken.[22][23][24]

Coaching careerEdit

Gillespie became a coach in Zimbabwe in August 2010. He worked primarily with the MidWest Rhinos, but also on "grass roots" activities to improve the performance of young players in Zimbabwe.[25]

Gillespie was drafted in as the bowling coach of Indian Premier League team Kings XI Punjab after their opening match against Pune Warriors in April 2011.[26]

In November 2011, he was named first-team coach of Yorkshire after a shake up in the club's coaching system.[27] In his first season with Yorkshire, they were promoted from Division Two of the County Championship; in the second they were runners-up in the first division; and they won the title in 2014 and 2015, when he was one of the candidates to coach England.[28] He returned to Australia after Yorkshire narrowly missed out on a third successive title in 2016.[29]

In April 2015 Gillespie was named as the coach of the Adelaide Strikers team in the Big Bash League.

In July 2017, Gillespie was appointed as the interim head coach for the Papua New Guinea national team replacing former New Zealand Test player, Dipak Patel.[30]

In 2018 Gillespie took up the position of head coach of Sussex.[31]

In August 2020, Gillespie was appointed the new coach of South Australia.[32]

In 2021, Gillespie was named an Australia Post Legend of Cricket.[33]

Career best performancesEdit

Score Fixture Venue Season
Test 7/37 England v Australia Headingley, Leeds 1997[34]
ODI 5/22 Australia v Pakistan Gymkhana Club Ground, Nairobi 2002[35]
T20I 1/49 England v Australia Rose Bowl, Southampton 2005[36]
FC 8/50 New South Wales v South Australia SCG, Sydney 2001[37]
LA 5/13 Glamorgan v Warwickshire Sophia Gardens, Cardiff 2008[38]
T20 2/19 Yorkshire v Derbyshire Headingley, Leeds 2007[39]


  1. ^ Excellence : the Australian Institute of Sport. Canberra: Australian Sports Commission. 2002.
  2. ^ a b Vaidya, Jaideep (22 August 2014). "Jason Gillespie: A high-quality fast bowler who signed off with a Test double century!". Cricket Country. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Cricket on Times of India | Live Cricket Score, Cricket News, India Cricket" (in French). Cricket.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. ^ Gillespie happy with retirement decision, Cricinfo, Retrieved on 9 November 2008
  5. ^ "Aboriginal cricket: The first Australian tour of England, 1868". BBC News. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Darwin dreaming inspires Gillespie". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 July 2003.
  7. ^ "McEvoy Family Tree, Cungena, SA, P. 1". 2 May 2004. Archived from the original on 2 May 2004. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Alison's Tea Break: Gillespie – 'Three different formats is the biggest challenge for bowlers today'". YouTube. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Another son arrives for Jason & Anna Gillespie | Aussie Bub Blog". Aussiebubblog.Wordpress.com. 22 October 2007. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Yorkshire's vegan cricket coach stumps sponsors after questioning use of leather balls and calling for entire dairy industry to be shut down". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  11. ^ Woodward, Grant (6 June 2016). "Yorkshire's Jason Gillespie on cricket, family and why he's battling for veganism". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  12. ^ "43. Doctors Hate Him, with Jason Gillespie". The Grade Cricketer Podcast. Whooshkaa. 22 October 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2019. (36:30-)
  13. ^ "Cricket Records | Records | Australia | Test matches | Best averages | ESPN Cricinfo". Stats.cricinfo.com. 1 January 1970. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Rahul Dravid is the ICC's player of the year". ESPNcricinfo. 8 September 2004. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Full Scorecard of Australia vs New Zealand 1st Test 2004 - Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  16. ^ 'We were just laughing': The McGrath-Gillespie batting masterclass on YouTube, Cricket Australia
  17. ^ "Records | Test matches | Batting records | Most runs in an innings by a nightwatchman | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  18. ^ Ramsey, Andrew (18 April 2016). "Downpours, dust-ups and Dizzy's double: Pt I". cricket.com.au. Cricket Australia. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  19. ^ Ramsey, Andrew (19 April 2016). "Downpours, dust-ups and Dizzy's double: Pt II". cricket.com.au. Cricket Australia. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Gillespie's Ashes series is over". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 August 2005. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  21. ^ Earle, Richard (10 October 2007). "Punter sorry to hurt Diz". Herald Sun. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  22. ^ Sengupta, Arunabha (13 September 2012). "Memories of the horrific on-field collision between Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie". Cricket Country. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  23. ^ "September 10, 1999 – Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie suffer horrific injuries after a collision". CricTracker. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  24. ^ Kargal, Rahul (20 July 2016). "When the Steve Waugh-Jason Gillespie collision rattled Australia". Sports Keeda. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  25. ^ Cricinfo staff (18 August 2010). "Donald and Gillespie bullish about Zimbabwe". ESPN. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  26. ^ [1][dead link]
  27. ^ Jason Gillespie named Yorkshire coach and batsman Phil Jaques returns, BBC, Retrieved 22 May 2012
  28. ^ ECB set to lose out on head coach target Jason Gillespie, Daily Telegraph, Retrieved 13 April 2015
  29. ^ "Gillespie to leave Yorkshire at end of season". YorkshireCCC.com. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  30. ^ "Jason Gillespie named interim PNG coach". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  31. ^ "Jason Gillespie appointed new head coach of Sussex". 20 November 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  32. ^ Cherney, Daniel. "Hodge, Rogers fight it out for Vics job as Gillespie named SA coach". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  33. ^ "Australia Post honours Australian Living Legends of Cricket". Australia Post Collectables. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  34. ^ "Australia tour of England and Scotland, 1997 – England v Australia Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 28 July 1997. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  35. ^ "PSO Tri-Nation Tournament 2002, 2nd Match – Australia v Pakistan Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 30 August 2002. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  36. ^ "Australia tour of England and Scotland, 2005 – England v Australia Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  37. ^ "Pura Cup, 2001/02 – NSW v SA Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 28 October 2001. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  38. ^ "Pro40 Division Two, 2008 – Glamorgan v Warwickshire Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  39. ^ "Twenty20 Cup, North Division, 2007 – Yorkshire v Derbyshire Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2016.

External linksEdit