Jason Gillespie has praised the “sensational” leadership which is guiding Sussex through the Covid-19 crisis.

And he has urged players to play a similar role in their own families during the long wait for cricket to return.

The head coach is keeping tabs on events in England from his home 10,000 miles away in Adelaide, South Australia.

He is unsure whether he will be coming back to this country soon although the hope is there will be some cricket for Sussex to get stuck into.

The Covid-19 situation is easing in Adelaide.

Schools re-opened a few weeks ago, which impacts Gillespie as a father of four.

He has time to think about cricket on what have become frequent walks and jogs near his home while on furlough.

And there is a chance to keep in touch with colleagues with whom he should be working on the county circuit.

Gillespie told The Argus: “I’m in touch with the boys. They are doing fitness work.

“At the moment the focus is on health and well-being.

“They have been furloughed, they can’t do any work for the club but it doesn’t stop us keeping in touch with our players.

“I have had a couple of chats with a few of the lads to see how they are going.

“This is far beyond sport so it is just checking in really.

“A lot of them have got a lot on their plates themselves.

“As I said to all the boys when all this kicked off, they have to assume leadership responsibilities within their own circles. That’s their families, their friends.

“They have got to be the leaders because cricket pales into insignificance at this time.

“It’s about looking after the people who are close to you.

“That’s families and friends and then it extends to your colleagues and team-mates and making sure everyone at the club is okay.

“It’s just checking in and I think Sussex are very good at that.

“I think the decisions our leaders have been making - Rob Andrew, Keith Greenfield - are going to bring everyone at our club a lot closer together going forward.

“Sometimes you see the real deal with people in tough times.

“I’m part of the Sussex staff, we have been furloughed, which is the right call.

“The leadership of our club from Rob and Keith has been outstanding.

“The goal has been to preserve as many jobs as possible.

“If it means we all have to take a little bit of a cut in order for the most amount of people to retain their jobs, I am all for that.

“We are all in it together. It’s unique times and it calls for unique decisions to be made and I think the leadership of Sussex has been nothing short of sensational.

“They keep all of us up to date - all the players and coaches.

“Rob keeps everyone regularly in the loop about what is going on.

“Any questions, we are all allowed to make contact if we have specific concerns. I don’t think anyone can complain.”

Gillespie was briefly in Hove in March before it became clear the season would be held up indefinitely and he is unsure as to whether he will be back this year.

He said: “In the back of my mind I’m hopeful the season will start at some point.

“I’m realistic as well. I’m probably going to have leave Australia a little bit earlier because I’m probably going to have to self-isolate for a couple of weeks.

“I have had a couple of brief conversations with Rob and Keith about that.

“We are touching base every week or so but at the moment I haven’t thought too much about it.

“If cricket starts in July or August, I’m probably going to have to work on three weeks minimum before that I’m going to have to get back to the UK.

“Until we have more information from the ECB, it’s pretty hard to speculate on that.”

Gillespie is interested to hear the first hints of life in Brighton and Hove starting to return to something like normal.

He reports a sense of fresh optimism in Adelaide which will be repeated here once cricket resumes.

He said: “We are not a big city here so it a nice to get around and it’s nice to be in a place where it’s very easy to social distance.

“I think we have had one positive case in the last month and we have no active cases of Covid-19 in the whole state. The one case was someone who, ironically, flew in from the UK back in March.

“Our government needs to take a lot of credit.

“They shut the borders down really early on.

“I had 14 days of isolation when I got back in March.

“We are starting to re-open. Outdoor dining is permitted now and it looks like indoor dining in restaurants and pubs is going to happen in the next couple of weeks.

“Sport is starting to be played. Teams can get together and train outdoors.

“Young kids can get together.

“We don’t want to talk too soon but there is a lot of optimism.”