Dizzy named Oz assistant

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Cricket Australia (CA) today announced that Jason Gillespie, the head coach of the Adelaide Strikers, will work as assistant coach for Australia’s three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) against Sri Lanka in February 2017.

Gillespie will work with Justin Langer, who was confirmed as head coach for the series earlier this month.

The duo will step in for Head Coach Darren Lehmann and his assistant David Saker, who will be on duty with the Test squad on the Qantas Tour of India as it prepares for the opening match of a four-match series.

Former Australia fast bowler Gillespie took 259 wickets in 71 Tests as well as 142 wickets in 97 One-Day Internationals and has extensive coaching experience, particularly in the shortest form of the game.

In addition to his ongoing role with the Adelaide Strikers where he is currently presided over a Big Bash League campaign for the second time, Gillespie spent five years as Head Coach of English county side Yorkshire and prior to that he occupied the same role with the Mid-West Rhinos in Zimbabwe.

Commenting on his appointment, Jason Gillespie said: “I’m just buzzing to get this role – it really is an exciting opportunity – and I’m humbled to be thought of by Cricket Australia in this regard.

“For me, the chance to be working with Justin Langer is terrific. Of course he’s a friend and a former team-mate, but he’s also someone who’s had success in this form of the game (with two KFC BBL titles with the Perth Scorchers) and if I can learn anything from him and his approach then that would be great.

“I’m there to support and hopefully play my part in achieving some positive results for us and that is something that is important because Australia hasn’t had the success any of us would like in Twenty20 cricket. A series like this is the ideal way for us to try and get better and refine our approach.

“With some players likely to be away in India it really will be a shop window for players from the BBL to showcase their skills, and to show the selectors and the Australian public what they can do. It’s a chance for those selectors to see how, in the case of any new players, they deal with international cricket.”

The T20Is between Australia and Sri Lanka will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (17 February), Kardinia Park in Geelong (19 February) and the Adelaide Oval (22 February).

Commenting on Jason Gillespie’s appointment, Cricket Australia Executive General Manager – Team Performance Pat Howard said: “It’s very pleasing that we’ve secured Jason’s services for the KFC Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka to work with Justin.

“Jason has significant experience as a coach around the world and with his skillset we believe he and Justin will work well together.

“With Jason’s appointment alongside Justin, it means that not only will we have two terrific home-grown coaches to oversee the side but also that we have two individuals who will be coming off the sharp end of the BBL season.

“It means they’ll be immersed in the Twenty20 format ahead of the series which will hopefully help them to help us hit the ground running when the action gets underway.”