Travis Head to captain Sussex red-ball side for 2022
Australian batter says he has "unfinished business" at club where he will play all three formats
Travis Head will play for Sussex across all formats in 2022, taking over as their red-ball captain.
In-form batter Head, who has played 19 Tests for Australia, will arrive in England ahead of Sussex's opening LV= Insurance County Championship fixture after he, and the club, endured a frustrating season in 2021.
Having agreed to join Sussex for the 2020 season, Head's arrival was pushed back by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Travel difficulties and a late finish to the Australian domestic season meant he arrived late for Sussex's 2021 campaign. He failed to reach fifty in six Championship games, scoring 183 runs from 11 innings as the club finished bottom of Division Three. He also played nine T20 Blast games and seven Royal London Cup 50-over matches for the club, but had to leave Sussex early to meet quarantine requirements ahead of the current Australian season.
Head welcomed his latest Sussex appointment, saying there was "unfinished business" personally and for the club.
"I can't wait to come back to Hove," Head said. "There was a great environment last summer and I loved being part of Sussex.
"There's unfinished business for me and the squad as a whole, so I was very eager to come back, compete hard and perform well. I'm over the moon to be getting the opportunity to do that. I'm equally pleased to be captaining the Championship side and I want to lead from the front as we continue the journey to bring success back to the club."
Head takes over the first-class captaincy from Tom Haines, who was the Championship's leading run-scorer for 2021 and took over the role after Ben Brown was stood down as skipper during the season.
Head will lead a young Sussex outfit, which has lost a host of experienced players, including Chris Jordan and Phil Salt, who left to join Surrey and Lancashire respectively, and Stuart Meaker and Mitch Claydon, who have retired.
Ian Salisbury, Sussex's Championship and one-day head coach, described Head as "exactly the kind of person we want in our environment and around our youngsters".
"Travis was incredible in the way he conducted himself last year, whether in the dressing room or on the field," Salisbury said. "[He] has been very honest about how he struggled after missing the start of last season - it takes even the very best a bit of time to adjust to English conditions - but he worked really hard and by the end of his stay we started to see what he can offer.
"With that in mind, it was crucial that he was able to join us from the start in 2022. He's a fine, fine player and this gives himself the best chance scoring plenty of runs for Sussex."
Head has enjoyed a strong start to the Australian season as captain of South Australia, averaging 54.20 after three Sheffield Shield matches with a top score of 163 against Western Australia in the opening round. He is the leading run-scorer in the Marsh Cup one-day competition, after scoring 230 off 127 balls in South Australia's victory over Queensland last month.