Pre-season preparations are complete and after a long winter the return of the Specsavers County Championship is just a day away.
The Sussex men travelled to Edgbaston this morning for their first match against relegated Warwickshire, which starts on Friday.
Ahead of his first competitive match in charge, head coach Jason Gillespie has named a 13-man squad.
Led by Ben Brown, the group contains a number of players who have made significant contributions during the pre-season fixtures.
Brown himself has notched up two centuries during the warm-up programme, whilst there was one each for Harry Finch and Luke Wright on the pre-season tour to Cape Town. Finch and Wright have also made fifties back in England, as have Michael Burgess and Will Beer.
Luke Wells scored half-centuries in each of the three matches on tour, as well as making a gritty 41 in tough conditions in the game against Surrey.
Ollie Robinson recorded career best figures of 7-23 against Loughborough MCCU over the Easter weekend, whilst Stuart Whittingham has bowled with pace and aggression and Will Beer has demonstrated excellent control with his leg-spin.
Test match experience is provided by Ishant Sharma and Stiaan van Zyl who made their first appearances of the summer earlier this week.
Academy left-arm swing-bowler Will Sheffield is included in the squad for the first time. The 17-year-old Brighton Aldridge Community Academy pupil impressed on the pre-season tour to Cape Town and is called up to replace Abi Sakande.
Sakande reported some soreness in his left side following the conclusion of the friendly against Surrey on Tuesday and so remains at Hove as a precaution.
Danny Briggs and George Garton also miss out as they continue their recovery from knee injuries sustained over the winter.
Both players are expected to play in next week’s 2nd XI matches against Essex at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove.
Speaking prior to the trip to the Midlands, Gillespie said: “We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing Warwickshire on their home ground.
“We’re very confident going into this fixture knowing we’ve made the most of our preparation.
“It’s now up to us to go out there and nail our skills and enjoy the challenge with smiles on our faces.”
Sussex CCC squad:
Ben Brown (c/wk)
Stiaan van Zyl