County news March 28, 2013

Sussex suffer Hastings blow

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sussex have lost John Hastings, the Australian overseas player signed for the Friends Life T20 tournament this season, because he is about to undergo surgery on an ankle injury.

Hastings will undergo surgery in Melbourne next week to remove bone spurs on his left ankle. He will now focus on rehabilitation ahead of the 2013-14 season with the Victoria.

A quality replacement will be difficult to find for Sussex - although the difficulty of attracting high-class players could be even more difficult next season when the counties revert to T20 on Friday nights for much of the summer.

"There's never a good time to get it done, but it's pretty disappointing," Hastings said. "I was in quite a bit of pain during the last three months of the season and it wasn't allowing me to deliver my skillset like I would like."

Hastings was determined to see out the season, having missed the 2011/12 Victoria season because of shoulder surgery - and that has cost Sussex dear.

He seemed an astute Sussex signing as he took 27 wickets at 24.51 including career-best figures of 5-30 and 7-87 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield this season, as well as scoring useful runs in the lower middle-order. He also finished third on the RYOBI One-Day Cup wicket-takers' list with 15 at 25.46 and averaged 44 with the bat.

Mark Robinson, Sussex's professional cricket manager, said: "Obviously the news is really disappointing and it is a shame that Sussex supporters will not get to see John in action this season. We wish him a speedy recovery from his surgery and our attention now turns to finding a suitable replacement."