Sussex will retain the services of Dwayne Smith, the West Indies allrounder, for this year's domestic Twenty20 competition. His signing is subject to him being granted a work permit, however, as Smith's Kolpak status expired in October last year and so he will be coming back as an overseas player for the county.

Smith was vital to the Sharks' emphatic victory in the final of last year's competition, scoring 59 from just 26 balls to take Sussex to an unassailable 172 from their 20 overs.

"It's great to be returning to my home away from home and I'm looking forward to representing Sussex in a big way next year," said Smith. "My time so far at Hove has been hugely enjoyable and I believe that my cricket has benefited an enormous amount from the coaching and team spirit that is so evident at the county."

"Dwayne played a huge part in our Twenty20 success last season," added Michael Yardy, the Sussex captain, "and it is very important to get a player who can change the direction of the game like he can."

Smith's form in English domestic Twenty20 also resulted in a contract with New South Wales as an overseas player for Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition and, more importantly, a recall to the West Indies squad for the one-day and Twenty20 leg of their tour of Australia in February after nearly three years away from the international scene.

With this year's extended Twenty20 competition, Smith will be available to Sussex from June 16 at the very latest, which means he could feature in the last 11 group games of the tournament. As such, the county will be seeking a suitable replacement for the first five games.