Former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie will continue as head coach of Sussex Cricket until the end of the 2022 season after being handed a contract extension by the club on Wednesday.

The 44-year-old from Sydney had joined Sussex as head coach at the start of the 2018 season and led Sussex Sharks to the knockout stages of the Vitality Blast in both of his seasons in charge, including to the final in 2018.

“I’m absolutely delighted to extend my time at Sussex. I absolutely love the place and everyone at the club has been fantastic since I joined,” Gillespie was quoted as saying by Sussex Cricket’s official website.

“I really feel we’re moving in the right direction, which is really pleasing. I can’t fault the efforts of all our players and coaches. We’re all on the same page; everyone wants what’s best for the club, and I feel we’re progressing in reaching those aims.”

Gillespie said they are focussed on improving as a side and vowed to repay the faith shown on him.

“We’ve had some really good times together, and we’ve had some challenging times, but we’re all clear about what we’re setting out to achieve and focussed on improving and developing to keep us moving forward,” he said.

“That’s a pretty special thing to be part of. I want to thank the club for the opportunity to carry on being part of that and for showing faith in me. I’m determined to repay that faith by keeping things moving in the right direction and hopefully having some success down the track.”

During his tenure, Gillespie and his coaching team have helped to nurture a number of exciting young cricketers. The club also attracted many overseas players such as Alex Carey, Mir Hamza, Travis Head, Rashid Khan and Ishant Sharma over the past two seasons.

Delighted to extend Gillespie’s contract, Rob Andrew, Sussex Cricket’s chief executive said: “There is going to be a lot of change in cricket over the next couple of years and we wanted some continuity through this period.

“We still have a lot of work to do to improve the men’s side and we were disappointed not to achieve promotion to division one of the County Championship this season. It is where the club aspires to be.”

Andrew hoped Gillespie will help Sussex achieve more consistency in Championship cricket.

“We have been more consistent in our performances in T20 and 50-over cricket in the last couple of years but need to find that consistency in Championship cricket as well,” he said.

“Dizzy (Gillespie) and his coaching team will be working hard to move the club forward and we are delighted he has chosen to help us on this journey.”