Ex-Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie poised to make shock return to England...with Kent

Jason Gillespie is on the verge of returning to England '“ but not with Yorkshire, the county he quit just six months ago.

Former Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie could be coming back to England with Kent. ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

The 41-year-old Australian is set to take up a position as interim assistant coach with Division Two side Kent.

The opportunity has arisen because former South African bowler, Allan Donald – the man appointed as Kent’s assistant in the new year – will not be given a visa to coach in England when pre-season begins this month as he does not meet the ECB criteria of a Level 3 coaching qualification. Donald was appointed as assistant to Kent’s new head coach Matt Walker in the new year.

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Gillespie guided Yorkshire to two county championship titles in five years as first-team coach but quit the White Rose county in August, citing a desire to return to Australia to be with his young family.

He is also the coach of the Adelaide Strikers in Australia’s T20 Big Bash but it is understood he has expressed an interest in a short-term position in England and has held talks with Kent.

An appointment is yet to be made but sources in the south east suggest it is a matter of when, not if, Gillespie is named to the interim position.

How long he then stays is dependent on Donald. Kent are currently weighing-up whether to appeal the ECB ruling or try to fast-track Donald through the the qualification process, which could take months.

Gillespie was a revelation with Yorkshire, giving a crop of young players the licence to play with freedom and instilling in them an unbreakable team ethic that saw them win promotion to Division One in his first season, before challenging for the title in each of the next four years. They won the county championship in 2014 and 2015.

Explaining the reasons for his departure from Yorkshire back in August, Gillespie said: “The initial plan was for my family to go back and spend a bit of time in Australia and then, after the Big Bash, we would all come back for another season at Yorkshire.

“I still had these thoughts that I could still work here and I could try and maybe get back home a couple of times during the summer for a few days. But the more I thought about it - from a family point of view - the more it became clear that that wasn’t going to be practical.

“At the end of the day, family comes first.”