Head coach Jason Gillespie has made one change to his squad for Sussex’s Specsavers County Championship match against Gloucestershire at this year’s Rathbones Arundel Festival of Cricket.
Danny Briggs replaces the injured Phil Salt, who underwent surgery on his hand on Friday.
At this early stage in his recovery, it is expected that Salt will not be available until next month.
Despite the loss of the opener and his 376 runs, Sussex have plenty of other in-form batsmen. Five other players average in excess of 40 in this year’s Championship, with captain Ben Brown topping the team’s run-scoring list with 455 at an average of over 75 from his eight innings so far.
With maximum batting bonus points in their past three matches, Sussex now have the most in the division.
Frustrating draws against Northamptonshire and Glamorgan were followed by an innings victory over Middlesex last week that lifted Sussex into third place after four matches.
Ollie Robinson’s ten wickets in that game, including seven in Middlesex’s second innings, mean that he has 21 from just three matches, with an average of barely 15. Only six bowlers in the division have more scalps, and they have all played at least one match more than the seamer.
Mir Hamza (20) and David Wiese (17) are providing good support to Sussex’s strike bowler and the team’s record of bowling teams out cheaply in the first innings means that they have the joint highest number of bowling bonus points in the division.
Ahead of his side’s annual residency at Arundel Castle, Gillespie said: “It was a great win at Lord’s which we celebrated before having a couple of days away to make sure everyone recovered properly.
“The lads have looked fresh in training over the weekend and they’re fit and firing to go for the Gloucestershire match.
“Salty being out is a blow for him, especially as he has been playing very well. It provides an opportunity for someone else, though, and Danny comes back into the squad to give us the option of playing an extra bowler.
“We feel we’ve got enough batting to cover Phil’s loss with either Tom Haines or Will Beer able to open the batting having done so this season for the seconds.
“We’re excited and focussed on the task at hand this week. Gloucester have shown they’re a hard team to beat and we will need to play well to give us the best chance of doing that. The squad is looking forward to that challenge and to entertaining our supporters at a beautiful ground.”
Festival sponsors, Rathbone Investment Management, are proud to bring you this season’s Arundel Festival of Cricket. Visit them at their Chichester office, or head to www.rathbones.com for more information on how they can help you look forward with confidence.
Sussex Cricket and Friends of Arundel Castle Cricket Club would like to express their gratitude to Rathbones for their invaluable support.
Ben Brown (capt/wk), Will Beer, Danny Briggs, Laurie Evans, Harry Finch, Tom Haines, Mir Hamza, Chris Jordan, Ollie Robinson, Abi Sakande, Stiaan van Zyl, Luke Wells, David Wiese
Gloucestershire are proving a difficult side to beat having gone unbeaten in their last nine Championship matches. They are not finding winning themselves straightforward, however, with a solitary victory from their four matches in this year’s competition.
That came in their third match against bottom side Durham. Otherwise, they have drawn against Derbyshire, second-placed Glamorgan and, most recently, league leaders, Lancashire. That record has left them in sixth place with 52 points, although they have played a game less than eight of the other nine teams in division two.
James Bracey is the side’s leading run-scorer with 319 runs, including 152 against Glamorgan. Gareth Roderick (219) is the only other player with over 200 runs to his name. Matt Taylor tops Gloucestershire’s wicket-taking list with 17 scalps, including seven in their last match against Lancashire. David Payne is next with 14 wickets from just three appearances.
This will be Gloucestershire’s third Championship visit to Arundel Castle, the previous two coming in 2004 and 2010. Gloucestershire won the first of those encounters, with Sussex getting revenge six years later.
Gloucestershire will have their new overseas signing, Australian swing bowler, Chad Sayers available to them for the first time during this week's match.
The match against Gloucestershire starts on Tuesday 11th June at Friends of Arundel Castle Cricket Club. Directions to the ground are available here.
Tickets for all four days of the match are available to buy online up until the start of each day’s play. These can either be printed at home or displayed on a mobile device to gain entry. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the gates.
Parking is available to purchase at the ground at a cost of £5 for Sussex Cricket and FACCC members and £10 for non-members.
Those unable to attend the match can follow all the action on the Sussex Cricket Match Day Centre. Please note, as this match is not at The 1st Central County Ground no livestream will be available. There will be the usual ball-by-ball commentary from BBC Sussex, which can be found on Sussex Cricket Match Day Centre.