Jason Gillespie will finally arrive this weekend to start work as Sussex’s new Head Coach.
A delay in receiving his visa has held up Gillespie’s arrival at Hove and meant he couldn’t link up with the squad who come back from a ten-day training camp in South Africa on Friday.
But the Australian is due at Hove on Saturday and although it has been frustrating for both him and the county he will have plenty of opportunity to get to know his new charges.
Having played three 50 overs games in South Africa – they lost twice to Middlesex before centuries from Luke Wright and Harry Finch propelled Sussex to victory over Durham MCCU on Wednesday – the county switches their focus from the white to the red ball this week.
Gillespie will watch Sussex for the first time on Monday when they take on Hampshire in a two-day friendly at the Ageas Bowl.
After meeting the media on Wednesday at Sussex’s press day, the counties meet again over two days at Hove.
Sussex then face Loughborough MCCU in a three-day match at Hove on April 1 before facing Surrey in a two-day game, also at home on April 9-10. Their opening Specsavers County Championship fixture against Warwickshire starts at Edgbaston a week later.
“It has been extremely frustrating for Jason,” said a Sussex spokesman. “His visa application was approved weeks ago but there was a delay in processing it.
“But he will hit the ground running. He has been in regular contact with the coaching staff in South Africa and throughout the winter and he can’t wait to get started.”
In Gillespie’s absence Director of Cricket Keith Greenfield and 2nd XI coach Jason Swift took the squad in South Africa.
Ben Brown led the side in all three warm-up games and although his re-appointment as captain has yet to be officially confirmed it looks likely that he will lead the side again this season.
Ishant Sharma’s first appearance for the county could be in the last of the warm-up games against Surrey. The Indian quick bowler is due to arrive on April 4 to begin a two-month stint with Sussex. He is available for the first five Championship games and all of their group fixtures in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
While Sharma comes in, Jofra Archer is due to head to the Indian Premier League for his stint with Rajasthan Royals. Their first game is on April 9 and Archer is likely be absent until May 19. He will miss Sussex’s first five Championship games and at least two games in the Royal London One-Day Cup, depending on Rajasthan’s progress.