Brown strengthens place in Sussex squad with new deal

Sussex’s emerging wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Brown has received a belated birthday present after agreeing a new contract.

After turning 23 on November 23, Brown’s new one-year extension ties him to the county to the end of 2013 and comes at the end of a breakthrough year when he established himself as first choice stumper at Hove in the absence of England’s Matt Prior.

Brown played in ten County Championship games last season as he won the battle for the gloves with Andy Hodd and scored his maiden four-day hundred against Yorkshire at Scarborough.

Skipper Mike Yardy, who made two centuries in the same game, was at the other end throughout that innings and is delighted that Brown has committed himself to Sussex.

He said: “Ben has continued to establish himself as a first-team player and this contract will give him the time to further develop his game.”

Brown also contributed some useful performances to Sussex’s one-day campaign including a blistering 30-ball half-century against Yorkshire during Sussex’s run to the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Bank 40.

He said: “I’m really pleased to have signed an extension for another year with Sussex. This is where I have grown up playing my cricket and I want to continue here in the future. Hopefully I can now look to cement my place in the first team from now on.”

Brown’s emergence has cast doubt on Hodd’s future at Hove, although cricket manager Mark Robinson recently described as “rubbish” reports that he had agreed to join Hampshire.

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