Sussex's Indian import Pujara to miss out against Northants

Sussex will be without Indian import Cheteshwar Pujara for their season opener against Northants at Hove on Friday (April 5).
Cheteshwar Pujara has been ruled out of Sussex's clash with Northants due to injuryCheteshwar Pujara has been ruled out of Sussex's clash with Northants due to injury
Cheteshwar Pujara has been ruled out of Sussex's clash with Northants due to injury

But they are set to be able to call on the services of England fast bowler Ollie Robinson, who played in their pre-season friendly with Hampshire earlier this week.

India batting star Pujara, who has scored more than 7,000 Test runs, was scheduled to play the opening seven red ball matches of the summer, but he has been ruled out of the Northants date.

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“Puj has a small back injury which the medical team in India have been managing," said Sussex head coach Paul Farbrace. "So he'll arrive during the first game and he'll only he'll be available for six games, rather than all seven."

Sussex's other overseas import, West Indian pace bowling all-rounder Jayden Seales is available to play against John Sadler's side, as is Robinson.

“Ollie Robinson is available for us on Friday, which is great," said Farbrace.

"Jayden Seales is here. He's been here for a week already and has been bowling in the middle along with Oliver for the last few days.

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“It's quite encouraging that we've got that strength in depth at the start of the season, but our job is to manage them, look after them and make sure that they will be available to play.”

Sussex finished third in division two last season, and could have won promotion but for a 17-point deduction for conduct breaches against Leicestershire and a slow over rate against Yorkshire.

The south coast side have a new captain this summer in former Middlesex wicket-keeper John Simpson, and like Northants, Sussex are targeting promotion.

That is a long way down the road of course, and the immediate focus is getting the summer off to a good start against Northants.

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“I think all the boys are really looking forward to Friday," said skipper Simpson .

"I’m just incredibly excited to get out there and get the debut done and dusted, hopefully with a win.”

Probable Sussex team v Northants: Haines, Clark, Alsop, Carter, Coles, Simpson (C, WK), Hudson-Prentice, Carson, Robinson, Karvelas, Seales