County news January 17, 2007

Sussex expect Mushtaq and Naved to miss openers

Cricinfo staff

Sussex expect to be without their overseas players for the first few matches of their county championship defence. Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan have World Cup commitments with Pakistan, Mushtaq as assistant coach and Naved as a strike bowler.

The tournament only ends on April 28, ten days after the start of the Championship. With the sport's leading sides all but assured of reaching the 'Super Eight' second-phase stage of the showpiece tournament in the Caribbean, both overseas players are likely to be out of the opener against Kent at Hove on April 18 and Sussex's visit to Warwickshire on April 25.

Sussex could also be without Matt Prior and Michael Yardy if the pair make the final cut for England's World Cup squad, and if England make the semi final. The county's manager Mark Robinson said: "Should we lose Yardy I may consider an overseas batter but we are not guaranteed to go for two overseas replacements. There are enough match-winners in the Sussex squad for me not to worry unduly by any absence."