Joyce elevated to lead Sussex in Yardy absence

Ed Joyce is hoping his stint as Sussex captain proves short-lived. The 32-year-old Irishman became the county’s third skipper of the season when he took over for the current County Championship match against Warwickshire at Arundel.

While Mike Yardy continues to be treated for depression, Murray Goodwin has been leading the team but, at 38, and with only another year left on his contract after this, he is not the natural choice as long-term successor if Yardy has to stand down.

There is no indication that is about to happen and Joyce would certainly prefer to be leading the side for only a short while. He said: “It has been a difficult season in terms of the captaincy with Mike not being there. Everything is up in the air at the moment but we are all hoping he comes back as quickly as possible.

“I think I would quite enjoy doing it in a full-time role, although I wouldn’t trample over anybody else to do it. I would definitely prefer Mike came back as it would mean he is in a good place.

“It is not something I have ever coveted but I do enjoy the tactical side of the game. I’ll be relying a lot on the other senior players in the first few weeks as I find my feet and hopefully I’ll grow in the role later in the season if Mike doesn’t come back.”

Joyce has plenty of captaincy experience. He led Middlesex in 2004 after Owais Shah stepped down and four years later guided Middlesex to the Twenty20 Cup title. He also skippered Sussex on two occasions in 2009, his first season at the club, in limited-overs matches.

He added: “I won’t be shouting and screaming that’s for sure. People know what to expect from me and that is not the kind of person I am. I prefer to lead by example but when things need to be said I will say them.

“Captaincy is hard work and I know how difficult it is from my time with Middlesex. You don’t really get time to yourself at all  it is so full on.”

The extra responsibility does not appear to have had a detrimental effect on his batting, however. Joyce passed 50 for the sixth time this season on his way to a first innings 73 against the Bears while Goodwin, freed from the extra responsibility, made an undefeated 79 on the opening day.

Joyce has not played any Twenty20 cricket for Sussex so far this summer so Goodwin will continue to lead the team in that format.

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