Smith opts for Sussex over Deccan Chargers
Sussex have announced a 20-man squad from which they will pick their touring party of 15 for the Champions Twenty20 League in India, to be staged in October, while confirming that Dwayne Smith has opted to play for them, rather than his IPL side Deccan Chargers.
Sussex qualified for the tournament after winning the Twenty20 Cup, England's domestic Twenty20 competition, along with the beaten finalists Somerset. And though they were boosted by Smith's decision, as well as the return of the legspinning allrounder, Piyush Chawla, they will have to do without Murray Goodwin, who is ineligible for this year's event owing to his prior links with the rebel Indian Cricket League.
"It's a fantastic honour to be the first club captain to take Sussex to an international competition," said the Sussex captain, Mike Yardy. "We've played great cricket throughout this year's tournament, culminating in two fantastic performances at Edgbaston on Saturday. We've got a strong squad that should suit Indian conditions and we're all very excited about this great opportunity."
Sussex have been placed in Group B alongside New South Wales (Australia) and the Eagles (South Africa). The top two teams from each group qualify for the next round and Sussex will take on New South Wales on Sunday October 11, followed by the Eagles on Tuesday October 13. Both will take place in Delhi.
Should Sussex qualify from Group B, they then move to Hyderabad ahead of the semi-finals.
"This is a great chance for us to pit our wits against the world's best," said Mark Robinson, the Sussex coach. "It will be a great challenge for what is still quite a young squad. It will be a test of the squad's mental and physical toughness and will be a fantastic learning curve for the whole side."
Squad Mike Yardy (capt), Rageeb Aga, Yasir Arafat, Will Beer, Ben Brown (wk), Piyush Chawla, Joe Gatting, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Andrew Hodd (wk), Chris Hopkinson, Ed Joyce, Chad Keegan, James Kirtley, Chris Liddle, Robin Martin-Jenkins, Chris Nash, Matt Prior (wk), Ollie Rayner, Dwayne Smith, Luke Wright