Sussex cricket manager Mark Robinson will intensify his search for an overseas player after losing Luke Wright for the early stages of the new season.
England one-day all-rounder Wright has confirmed on his Twitter account that he is to become the first Sussex player to take part in the Indian Premier League after signing for Pune Warriors.
He will miss Sussex’s first five County Championship games although it could have been more. Sussex do not play in the third round of games and they are also playing Leeds/Bradford MCCU and West Indies in the opening weeks of the season.
Robinson only became aware of Wright’s likely absence at the start of this week, although covering for the all-rounder is not a problem he is unfamiliar with.
Sussex struggled to balance their side for much of last season after Wright was ruled out from early July with a knee injury which eventually required surgery.
So far the county have been unable to nail down a new overseas player although they have recruited Scott Styris for the Friends Life t20 campaign.
A move for South African all-rounder Vernon Philander was scuppered when he opted to join Somerset while last season’s overseas player Rana Naved has been recruited by Derbyshire. Two subsequent approaches for un-named players have also been rebuffed.
Robinson said: “Getting the right overseas signing is increasingly difficult but it is an area we are still looking at. There is still time.
“Last season we coped with losing Luke and Mike Yardy for lengthy periods of time. The problem with the IPL from a coach’s point of view is that unless all the counties decide not to let the players go it is difficult to stop them.
“From a selfish point of view you don’t want to lose your best players a month before the season, but it is a fantastic opportunity for Luke and one I’m sure he will relish.”