“We worked really hard to get some depth in our bowling,” Gillespie told reporters in Adelaide. “We had three bowlers with Australia A in New Zealand at the end of the Shield season [and] we currently have three fast bowlers playing county cricket.
“I’m not sure how many other states have three fast bowlers playing in the County Championship, so that’s real kudos here and a real credit to those individuals and recognition for the work they’re doing for South Australia, which is great.
“Being able to take 20 wickets consistently in Shield cricket is what contributes to Shield wins. Having that depth of bowling is fantastic and I think we have the best depth of fast bowling in the country so there I am very excited about it.”
“There’s a talented cricketer there,” said Gillespie. “He’s a fine batsman and an absolute jet in the field. We’re delighted to give him a chance and certainly believe he has the skills to play an important role.”
Smith returned to South Australia’s colors with a last-minute comeback in the Marsh Cup Final, then the last Shield game of the season, and will compete to fill the opening role created by the move of Jake Weatherald to Tasmania.
“Kelvin is a great story that got to fame at a young age and then lost that opportunity,” said Gillespie. “[He] kept scoring points at premier level, moved to another state [WA] and kept scoring points, didn’t quite get the chance there, came back and kept scoring points when an opportunity presented itself. We should all be celebrating that as a great cricket story.”
“I felt this was Lloyd’s best season last season,” said Gillespie. “I know people say ‘that’s a bit weird, he hasn’t played a game yet’ but he’s constantly developing his bowling. He’s making the improvements that he and the coaches have identified. There’s no reason why Lloyd isn’t in the same side as Ben Manenti depending on the circumstances and circumstances.
“Lloyd did nothing wrong, he was bowling beautifully and just needs to be patient. We have to remember with Lloyd Pope, he’s 22 years old, he’s a young man and he’s in a craft that’s notoriously one of the most challenging in our sport.” and think he’s progressing wonderfully well. We have a lot of confidence and belief in Lloyd Pope and what he has to offer, not only in the next year, but also in the long term.”
South Australia Men’s Contracts 2023-24 Wes Agar, Kyle Brazell (R), Jordan Buckingham, Aidan Cahill (R), Jake Carder, Alex Carey (CA), Harry Conway, Brendan Doggett, Daniel Drew, Jake Fraser-McGurk, David Grant, Travis Head (CA), Isaac Higgins (R), Henry Hunt, Thomas Kelly, Jake Lehmann, Ben Manenti, Harry Matthias (R), Nathan McAndrew, Nathan McSweeney, Harry Nielsen, Lloyd Pope, Liam Scott, Henry Thornton, Spencer Johnson, Kelvin Smith
CA = Cricket Australia contract, R = Rookie contract