Jason Gillespie to coach Papua New Guinea

The former Australia fast bowler will not take up the role on a full-time basis due to commitments with Adelaide Strikers.

Jason Gillespie is “excited” over the prospect of working with cricketers from Papua New Guinea.   -  Getty Images

Jason Gillespie, the former Australia fast bowler, has been named the interim coach of Papua New Guinea (PNG) as the burgeoning cricketing nation is all set to push for 2019 World Cup qualification.

Earlier this week, Cricket Papua New Guinea chief executive Greg Campbell had confirmed that Gillespie, who was initially appointed as a consultant for one year, will take over from former New Zealand off-spinner Dipak Patel on an interim basis. Gillespie’s decision to rule out the job on a full-time basis came due to his commitments with Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League (BBL).

“I have never been to PNG before. I’m going to go up at the end of the month for a meet and greet, meet the players and staff and get to know everyone. I’m just excited to see how these guys go about their work. I’ve heard a lot of very good things,” Gillespie was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

‘Fantastic’

He added: “Papua New Guinea played against Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi in the pre-season and I spoke to a few of my friends at Yorkshire and they said the PNG guys were fantastic.”

After Australia A’s tour to South Africa got cancelled due to the ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association, Gillespie, who is also the head coach of the A side, is now free to join the PNG squad in Port Moresby later this month.

PNG will play a few matches in Australia against the Australian Indigenous team and Queensland XI, before hosting Scotland for two matches in October as a part of its push for 2019 World Cup qualification.

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