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Aussie cricketing legend Gillespie receives honorary degree


One of Australia’s best-loved cricketers, who has been integral to Yorkshire’s recent County Championship success, has received an honorary degree from Leeds Beckett University.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s First team coach, Jason Gillespie, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sport Science on Monday 25 July.

As a player, Jason was part of a golden era for Australian cricket taking 402 wickets for his country in all forms of international cricket, including 259 in 71 Tests.

‘Dizzy’, as he’s known throughout the world of cricket, is Australia’s sixth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket and his playing career will also always be remembered for a stunning double-century he scored as a night-watchman against Bangladesh in his last Test match.

Speaking about receiving the award, Jason said: “If I’m perfectly honest it’s a bit surreal and something I never envisaged, that I’d be receiving this honorary doctorate today.  As a professional cricket player and as a coach you don’t really think of awards, but you focus on the job at hand and what you need to do to be as effective as possible.  To be recognised in this way is very humbling.

“My message to the graduating students today is simply to trust yourself and back yourself and enjoy the ride as well.  It’s a big wide world out there so embrace it and try and do things that you really love doing.”

Jason has been First team coach at Yorkshire since 2012 and guided the White Rose to County Championship promotion in his first season in charge as well as to the final of the Friends Life t20 and to the Champions League t20 competition. Whilst in his second season in charge, he oversaw Yorkshire’s second-placed finish in the top tier of the Championship.

In 2014 Jason claimed the first title of his coaching career when Yorkshire saw off the challenge of second-placed Warwickshire and third-placed Nottinghamshire to win the Championship title for the first time in 13 years. He helped Yorkshire to repeat their County Championship success in 2015, the county’s first consecutive titles since 1968 as well as being appointed as Adelaide’s T20 Strikers coach

Leeds Beckett University Chancellor, Sir Bob Murray CBE, said: “In recent years Yorkshire have enjoyed stellar success, winning back-to-back County Championships with style. Jason has been at the heart of this success, instilling confidence and belief into their side and ensuring that nothing is left to chance.

“It is a privilege for us to recognise the contribution that Jason has brought, and continues to bring, to sport at both a regional and international level.”

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