Ben Brown has spoken of his surprise and disappointment at Jason Gillespie’s impending departure as Sussex head coach.

But the skipper says the county will be in a great position to push on as their boss heads to a coaching job back home in South Australia.

Gillespie will leave the county at the end of the truncated 2020 season, which is his third at Hove.

He has one last chance of silverware in the Vitality Blast.

Brown has highlighted progress away from the pitch which leaves Sussex well-placed for coming campaigns.

He told The Argus: “In terms of our culture at Sussex, I think we were in a difficult place when Dizzy took over.

“One of the things I spoke to him about was wanting to really connect the club again and also different departments of that club.

“In terms of the culture behind the scenes, Dizzy has done a wonderful job getting everyone together and behind the team.

“I think that work will continue now for a long time.

“I’ve never had a coach who is so upbeat all the time and certainly so supportive of players and so positive around the team.

“He has got some very strong values which I felt very much in line with.

“That has really helped me and him as a coach/captain relationship.

“We have very similar values and, as long as people adhere to those team values, if you like, then Dizzy gives you absolute 100% support.

“If you don’t, it’s pretty clear as to why he doesn’t.

“He expects a huge amount of cooperation as a team, he expects people to be selfless.

“As long as you are doing those things, then you will never have a problem when Dizzy.

“It’s team first, selflessness and a willingness to do what’s right for the team above anything else.

“That is the kind of culture he wanted to create and it’s a pretty simple philosophy and he attempts to live that out, which is the difficult part.”

The Covid lockdown meant Gillespie was only in charge for two Championship campaigns.

Sussex did not manage to regain top-flight status in that time.

Partly out of necessity, they have given younger players a chance in this season’s Bob Willis Trophy and see that as an investment for future years.

Brown said: “It takes time, that’s the reality. Particularly in the four-day side, we are still rebuilding.

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“We are trying to get enough young players through to support the senior players, who obviously will return next year.

“In many respects it sums Dizzy up as a character that, even though he had an inclination that he was finishing this year, he was willing to make sure we continued to build for the future.

“It would have been easy for him to not do that but he is still very much driven for the future of Sussex cricket.

“Whichever coach takes over will be very fortunate for the work that is being done right now in this Bob Willis Trophy.”

Brown did not learn of Gillespie’s big decision until after the narrow defeat by Essex on Tuesday.

He said: “I’m guessing Dizzy didn’t want to distract me from the game.

“It has come as a bit of a surprise and I’m really disappointed.

“From a selfish point of view, I’m sad to lose Dizzy but he has always been a family first guy and, as a player, that has always been a really refreshing attitude.

“I think it is an easy thing to say but actually giving people freedom and making sure they look after their families has been a big part of why they enjoy him as a coach.

“With him getting that job in South Australia and spending more time with his family, I’m really pleased for him.”