Steve Magoffin is back in the Sussex squad for their Specsavers County Championship match against Notts at Trent Bridge on Friday.
Magoffin, the county’s leading fast bowler in recent years, missed the season’s championship opener against Kent at Hove, which resulted in defeat by 226 runs for the home side. He had a knee injury.
His return compensates for the loss of South African Test all-rounder Vernon Philander, who has returned home to recover from a groin injury sustained in his debut appearance against Kent. Sussex Head Coach Mark Davis said: “It’s great to have Steve back, though losing Vernon is a bit of a blow for us. And groin injuries can take longer than you think.”
Sussex hope to have Philander back at the end of May, to play four championship matches. But they are looking to sign a replacement for the 50-over Royal London One-day Cup. David added: “We’d like a bowling all-rounder as a like-for-like replacement for Vernon but if there was a suitable out-and-out bowler available then that would be an option.”
Reflecting on the defeat by Kent, Davis said: “We should have batted out the last day and got a draw. But it was the first match of the season and the important thing now is to do battle at Notts. And if we do that we will certainly be challenging.”
Sussex’s top order looked vulnerable in the Kent game but Davis said: “Chris Nash has been around for a long time. Stiaan van Zyl is a very fine cricketer, a Test cricketer, and then we have Laurie Evans and Luke Wright.
“Ben Brown was outstanding with the bat against Kent, and Jofra Archer [who had career-best figures of seven for 67] was outstanding with both bat and ball. And Ajmal Shahzad bowled better than he did last season. So there were lots of encouraging signs.”
To add to the county’s seam bowling options at Trent Bridge, George Garton and Stuart Whittingham are in the squad, as well as left-armer Adam Barton, who appeared in pre-season matches.
The Sussex squad is: Jofra Archer, Adam Barton, Danny Briggs, Ben Brown (wkt), Laurie Evans, Harry Finch, George Garton, Steve Magoffin, Chris Nash, Delray Rawlins, Ajmal Shahzad, Stiaan van Zyl, David Wiese, Stuart Whittingham, Luke Wright (C).
Sussex have also confirmed this week that they have offered former Leicestershire batsman Angus Robson a season-long trial. Robson, the younger brother of Middlesex and England opener Sam Robson, will also be registered to play in the Sussex Premier League for Middleton Cricket Club.