Mir Hamza, Chris Jordan and Stiaan van Zyl have all been named in Sussex’s squad for the Specsavers County Championship match against Lancashire that starts at Emirates Old Trafford on Saturday.
The trio’s return to fitness is welcome news for captain Ben Brown and his team who have been hit by injuries and illnesses in recent weeks.
Danny Briggs (ankle), George Garton (side), Will Sheffield (knee) remain unavailable through injury, while leading wicket-taker Ollie Robinson will miss this match having been called up for England Lions.
Without a number of key players, Sussex have struggled in their last two Championship matches against Durham and Northamptonshire.
Despite defeats in those games, Sussex remain in touch with the division two promotion places with five matches remaining. Derbyshire currently occupy third place, with Sussex seven points behind in fourth.
While other sides were in Championship action earlier this week, Sussex were occupied with the visit of the touring Australia ‘A’ side, meaning that all teams in division two have now played nine of their 14 matches.
Looking ahead to the Lancashire match, Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie said: “We’ve had a number of players missing for the last few games, so to have Hamza, Jordan and van Zyl fit again is good news.
“Lancashire are a very fine side as reflected in their position in the table, but as ever we’re relishing the challenge and looking forward to the opportunity to perform well against a strong opposition.
“It’s been a while since Sussex have played at Old Trafford and the lads are excited to play at such a venerable ground.”
Ben Brown (capt & wk), Will Beer, Varun Chopra, Laurie Evans, Mir Hamza, Chris Jordan, Aneesh Kapil, Delray Rawlins, Abi Sakande, Phil Salt, Aaron Thomason, Stiaan van Zyl, Luke Wells, David Wiese
Lancashire currently sit top of division two after their relegation from the top tier last season, and are yet to taste defeat with four wins and five draws to their name.
With the most bowling points in the division, it is the likes of Graham Onions and Jimmy Anderson who have led the way for Lancashire so far this term. Onions leads the way for the Red Rose county with 39 dismissals to his name and an economy rate of 2.79, with Anderson not far behind with 30.
Anderson, however, will not be available for the match with Sussex having injured his calf. Seamer Tom Bailey and young quick Saqib Mahmood are also out with injury, although Mahmood would have missed the match anyway having been initially picked in the same England Lions squad as Ollie Robinson. Left-arm seamer Toby Lester has been recalled from his loan at Warwickshire.
South African Kolpak player Dane Vilas has the most runs for the county this season. His 567 runs at an average of over 70 put him 13th on the division two run scorers list. Rob Jones is next for Lancashire with 435 runs, with Liam Livingstone third with 363 runs.
Livingstone won’t feature this weekend, however. He’s out with an injury to his intercostal muscles.
Play is scheduled to begin at 11am on all four days. Advance tickets are available to purchase from the Lancashire Cricket website.
Sussex supporters who cannot attend the match will be able to watch the action via the live stream on the Lancashire Cricket Match Centre. A live scorecard and text commentary via the @SussexCricket twitter feed will be available on the Sussex Cricket Match Day Centre.