Plunkett had endured an especially unpromising phase of his career before his move south to Headingley from Durham in 2013 at the age of 28.
Gillespie’s man-management helped him return to his best, however, and Plunkett has since added more international caps in all formats.
Reacting to the announcement of Gillespie’s departure yesterday, he said: “I’m obviously gutted – because he was good for me, and good for the team. It’s a tough decision that he’s made. But I want to thank him – he’s been great for me.
“They took a chance at the club to bring me there, and he’s been nothing but positive to me.
“He’s brought me back to playing for England. So I wish him the best, and look forward to catching up when I get back to Yorkshire.”
Gillespie quickly and rightly judged that Plunkett did not need any more technical tips, but moral support. “At that time, he was what I needed,” he said. “I was a bit raw, and struggling with my action.
“I thought it was all about technical.
“But it wasn’t – it was just about backing myself.
“When I went there, that was what he picked up straight away.”