Coach Jason Gillespie refuses to rule out Yorkshire return

Fond farewell for Yorkshire head coach Jason Gillespie pictured with director of cricket  Martyn Moxon. Picture: Simon Hulme
Fond farewell for Yorkshire head coach Jason Gillespie pictured with director of cricket Martyn Moxon. Picture: Simon Hulme
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Jason Gillespie has left the door open for a Yorkshire return after agonising over the decision to leave the county and move back to Australia with his family.

The county champions announced on Monday that the Australian would end his successful five-year spell as head coach at the end of the season.

“It’s obviously been a very tough decision because I love my job,” Gillespie said. “I’m standing down because of family reasons. It’s well known that my wife and kids are now back in Australia.

“As much as I love this club, my job and living here in Yorkshire, the time is right to step aside.

“The initial plan was for the family to go back and spend a bit of time in Oz and then we’d all come back after the Big Bash and have another season at Yorkshire.

“Once it became clear that wasn’t going to happen and the family was going to stay in Australia, the goalposts shifted a bit.

“I still thought I could come over here and try to get back a couple of times during the summer. But the more I thought about it the more I realised it wasn’t going to be practical from a family point of view.

“I’m a husband and father first. At the end of the day, family comes first.”

Gillespie, who spent two years with Yorkshire as a player, took over as head coach ahead of the 2012 season and has transformed the county’s fortunes, suffering just five defeats in 76 County Championship matches.

The 41-year-old has not ruled out a return to Headingley.

“I don’t write anything off,” said Gillespie, who has a part-time role with Big Bash League side Adelaide Strikers.

“I love this club and have enjoyed every minute of it.

“Who knows what will happen in the future? I wouldn’t say no moving forward, but at the moment the time is right to spend some time with my family.”

Yorkshire secured an immediate return to Division One in Gillespie’s first season in charge and after finishing second in 2013, they won back-to-back titles despite continuing to lose key players to England.

The county are only five points behind leaders Middlesex in this year’s title race and face the prospect of attempting to secure a hat-trick of championships at Lord’s in Gillespie’s final match in charge.

“I think it would be fitting for everybody (to win the County Championship again),” added Gillespie, whose side take on Hampshire in Southampton from Wednesday.

“This group of players has the world at their feet and have a wonderful opportunity.

“But we can’t focus on that end result. We’ve just got to focus on our next match.”

Director of cricket Martyn Moxon admitted it was a decision Yorkshire had seen coming.

“It’s news we’d always feared,” he said. “He’s done a brilliant job here.

“Once Anna and the children went back to Australia a few weeks ago, the alarm bells started ringing.

“When we spoke there was no great surprise to learn of Jason’s decision.”

Moxon reiterated Yorkshire’s desire to wait until the end of the season to start their search for the next head coach.

“We want to really focus on the last four games,” he added.

“They’re four big games in the history of the club let alone this current group of players.

“We don’t want anything to distract from that.

“We will think about Dizzy’s successor, of course, but our real energy will be making sure we give the lads the support they need during the last four games.

“The reaction from the lads was they wanted to send Dizzy out on a high.”