New red-ball coach Jason Gillespie focuses on importance of Pakistan squad's fitness

Newly appointed coach holds maiden press conference after affliation with PCB

Pakistan red-ball coach Jason Gillespie watches over as cricketers practice. — reporter
Pakistan red-ball coach Jason Gillespie watches over as cricketers practice. — reporter

Pakistan’s newly appointed red-ball coach Jason Gillespie emphasised the importance of fitness culture in the team as he held his first press conference upon arrival in the country on Sunday. 

Gillespie, who is considered Australia’s one of the finest bowlers in history, is excited about working with the Pakistan cricket team and also confirmed he will travel to Australia with the Shaheens.

“I am excited to work with the Pakistan cricket team and will also travel to Australia with Shaheens,” he said. 

Besides fitness, the former Australian cricketer also shed light on consistency and other important matters.

“During the last tour to Australia, Pakistan lost the series 3-0 but they played well. There were moments in the series where they were also dominating the opponents.

“The Pakistan cricket team is very talented but the lack of consistency in performances is the main problem, we will see how we can bring continuity and consistency in performances.”

He said categorically that there will be no compromise on players’ fitness as in international cricket, there are no excuses for fitness.

“In international cricket, you have to remain fit, there are no questions on that,” Gillespie added. “In international cricket, everyone should know about the importance of fitness. It is the main component of a sportsman.

“I have talked to Shan Masood [Pakistan’s red-ball capain] one to two times, I’m hoping we will play positive cricket. I will [also] discuss with the players about what brand of cricket they want to play, the team will be selected while taking the opposition and conditions in mind.

“If a player is good for the team, he will definitely be selected. I’m in contact with Gary Kirsten [Pakistan’s white-ball coach] for players’ workload management.”

The former star pacer asserted that his focus is on red-ball cricket and he will do whatever it takes to improve the team before adding that he wants the team to improve in fielding.

“My focus is red-ball cricket, I will also travel to Australia with Shaheens and watch their players. I have talked with Jeff Lawson and Shaun Tait [Pakistan’s former bowling coach] on the Pakistan cricket team,” Gillespie said.

“There is a general opinion that Pakistan’s fielding is their weak point, so that would be my priority. For me, the goal is to see how we play against quality sides.”