Yardy to miss Sussex’s season opener

Sussex will give skipper Mike Yardy as much time as possible before he plays again as he battles depression.

The 30-year-old county captain had his first practice with the squad earlier this week a fortnight after returning early from England’s World Cup campaign to fight his illness.

He is not in the squad for the County Championship opener against Lancashire, which starts on April 8, and although he will be present at Sussex’s media day at Hove on April 12 he will not be available for interview.

Sussex cricket manager Mark Robinson said: “Yards is not ready to play yet, as expected. He came in on Tuesday, had a hit and was around the boys which was great but we are allowing him to do everything day by day.

“He has had a traumatic five months, as all the boys who have been away so long with England have. It was tough for them – exciting but mentally challenging. Unfortunately Yards had to come out of it and now he needs space to re-charge and recover and come back to lead this county forward.”

Sussex have named three of their new signings for their opener at Liverpool – Amjad Khan, Naveed Arif and Kirk Wernars – while overseas bowler Rana Naved has linked up with the squad after his arrival from Pakistan was held up until Wednesday because of visa problems.

Luke Wright, who has a knee injury, and Matt Prior, who is being rested by England, are both unavailable for the match against Lancashire.

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