Sussex coach Mark Robinson admits he is considering a “job share” for the role of overseas player in the coming season.
Like most counties hunting for overseas replacements, Sussex are waiting until after the Indian Premier League auction on January 19 before considering their next move.
Last season Rana Naved played for the first six weeks of the campaign before giving way to fellow Pakistani Yasir Arafat. Neither is in the IPL draft and are unlikely to be involved in the World Cup so it could be a case of ‘better the devil you know’ as far as Robinson is concerned.
He said: “There is the possibility of bringing Rana back for part of the season and we are still talking to Yasir. Can one overseas player do the whole summer? You have to ask yourself if they can produce game after game at the levels you would want as a coach. Given the nature of our domestic schedule, I’m not sure.
“As far as the overseas player slot is concerned, I am like a lot of coaches. There are lots of factors to consider and we are in limbo a bit with a lot happening which is out of our control. But after the IPL auction things should be clearer.”
Four Sussex players – Luke Wright, Mike Yardy, Matt Prior and Monty Panesar – have put themselves forward for the IPL auction and with Wright, Yardy and possibly Prior expected to be involved in England’s World Cup campaign, Robinson is resigned to being without a lot of his big names in pre-season.
“You can’t deny the players the opportunity to play in the IPL. We might lose all four but there is also a good chance that they could all be available,” added Robinson.
“But it might be that we won’t have the whole squad together until April 3 – which is five days before we play our first County Championship game. That is not ideal, of course, but it does mean that others will get opportunity when we go to Abu Dhabi for our pre-season programme.”
New signing Amjad Khan, meanwhile, is among a group of players heading to Port Elizabeth for a five-week training camp starting on January 8 with second-team coach Mark Davis.