Caribbean trip to aid domestic ambition: Robinson

Sussex coach Mark Robinson is convinced a fortnight playing Twenty20 in the West Indies in January can improve the Sharks’ chances of landing the domestic title again.

The county will follow in the footsteps of Hampshire and Somerset, who competed in the Caribbean T20 earlier this year, when they join Netherlands, Canada and the Caribbean islands in the 2012 event.

With several experienced players including Matt Prior, Luke Wright, Murray Goodwin and Ed Joyce not available, it will be a young squad that takes part but Robinson sees immesuarable benefits.

“There are cost implications, but the West Indies Cricket Board part-fund the trip and we feel it is a justified expense,” he said.

“We will play competitive T20 cricket which is far away enough from the start of the County Championship season in April as to not impact on that.”

Although Sussex have reached the knockout stages of the Twenty20 Cup four times in the last five years, their triumph at Edgbaston in 2009 remains their solitary success.

“We will be missing six of our senior players so this is an opportunity for those who have not played a lot of T20 cricket for us to play important roles such as James Anyon, Amjad Khan and Luke Wells,” added Robinson.

All-rounder Naveed Arif will also be heading to the Caribbean after agreeing a new one-year contract.

Arif made his maiden first-class hundred in April when he defied champions Lancashire at Hove and he also made regular appearances in the Clydesdale Bank 40 side.

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