Gillespie disappointed with criticism of 'passionate, hardworking' Archer

By Sports Desk May 16, 2020

Jason Gillespie believes criticism of England fast bowler Jofra Archer might well be rooted in lazy stereotyping.

Archer excelled on his introduction to the international game last year, starring in England's Cricket World Cup win and then the 2-2 home Ashes series draw against Australia.

The 25-year-old claimed 55 wickets across all formats in 2019 but a tough tour of New Zealand and mixed fortunes as England were subsequently victorious in South Africa brought his performances into question.

Conjecture generally whipped up whenever the Barbados-born paceman let his speeds slip below the high speeds that allow him to thrill spectators and terrify batsmen.

Gillespie takes charge of Archer at Sussex when his commitments for England and in global T20 leagues allow.

A world-class seamer during his playing days for Australia, he feels the slights directed towards the player "couldn’t be further from the truth".

“I've been very excited by Jofra," he told Stats Perform. "Obviously, he plays at Sussex and my dealings with Jofra have been nothing short of fantastic.

"He's a very likeable young man, loves his cricket, very passionate, he's very hardworking.

"I’ve been pretty disappointed with some of the criticism levelled at Jofra. I think he suffers a little bit from perception. There's that laid-back demeanour that he has.

"He's got a few gold chains, he's got the different hairstyle, he’s got that sort of laid-back West Indian approach. He's Barbadian-born, so he has that approach.

"That perception of that laid-back attitude, people assume that he doesn’t care or he’s not putting [effort] in, and that couldn't be further from the truth. The kid lives and breathes cricket, and I think he's been fantastic."

Gillespie was tipped by some to be leading Archer in the next stage of his international career, with his name linked to the vacancy that emerged when Trevor Bayliss stepped down at the end of the Ashes.

The England and Wales Cricket Board ultimately entrusted bowling coach and former Essex head coach Chris Silverwood to step up.

Content in his roles with Sussex and Big Bash outfit the Adelaide Strikers, Gillespie insists his association with the role never amounted to anything more than gossip – although he would consider offers to work at international level.

“My name was linked with it but at no stage have I had an official interview or anything like that for any role," he explained.

"I think my name got bandied around along with a number of other coaches in the world. I'd love to be involved with international cricket at some point in the future.

"Right now, I’ve got a wonderful job at Sussex, a wonderful job at the Adelaide Strikers, and I'm really enjoying those roles.

"If something does come up in international cricket, you’d certainly have a look at it. As a career coach, you want to progress and work with the best players. Anyone would be open to having those conversations, but at the moment, my focus is on Sussex and the Strikers." 

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