This week’s Throwback Thursday blog is all about the Sussex CCC revolution of 1998!
In the previous winter of 1996-97, Sussex lost six, senior capped players to other counties. A member’s revolt in March had seen the old committee overthrown and a new one, including current chairman, Jim May, elected after a stormy AGM at The Grand Hotel, with Robin Marlar ousted as chairman.
The dust settled – a little! – and the new season started against Northamptonshire at Hove with Sussex under the new captaincy of one, Peter Moores. The visitors on that occasion had two players in their ranks who would go on to play for Sussex later in their careers: Richard Montgomerie and Mohammad Akram. Among Sussex’s new signings was Mark Robinson, who made his debut in the game and remains with the county 16 years on as the club’s Cricket Manager.
Robinson went on to take six wickets in a match ruined by rain and finished the season with 48 wickets. Another new signing, Neil Taylor, scored a century on debut, as he had done for his first county Kent 18 years earlier and Keith Newell made an unbeaten 107 but the last two days were washed out by rain.
Despite all the upheaval, Sussex actually gained as many bowling points as champions Glamorgan that season but, as expected, they finished bottom of the Championship and the Sunday League. They were also embarrassed by the British Universities in the Benson & Hedges Cup although they did reach the semi-final of the NatWest Trophy before losing heavily to Warwickshire.
The following winter, Chris Adams was appointed captain and the re-birth of Sussex cricket was underway. We all know what happened after that!
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