Sussex have suffered a triple injury blow on the eve of the new season with Luke Wright, Lewis Hatchett and Matt Machan all out of contention for the County Championship opener against Lancashire at Liverpool starting on April 8.
All-rounder Wright has returned home from the World Cup with a knee injury which required an injection so he could complete the tournament. He now needs a period of rest and is out for at least a fortnight.
Left-armer Hatchett suffered a slight hamstring tear during Sussex’s pre-season two-day game against Durham in Abu Dhabi on March 28. He pulled up halfway through his fourth over and will be sidelined for three to four weeks, according to cricket manager Mark Robinson.
Young batsman Machan was unlikely to figure against Lancashire, but he is out for two to three weeks after fracturing the knuckle on his index finger during a fielding drill in the desert.
On the pitch, however, Sussex’s seamers impressed against Durham. Left-armer Chris Liddle, fit after two years plagued by ankle problems, picked up 3 for 14 and Amjad Khan had 2 for 45 on his competitive debut for his new county.
But the pick of the attack was James Anyon who finished with 4 for 41 as Durham were dismissed for 207 on the first day of the two-day fixture.
The sides meet again in a 50-over contest on March 30 before Sussex take part in the annual ProArch t20 tournament over the weekend.