Aussie Travis Head NOT coming to Sussex - but Cheteshwar Pujara is

Sussex cricket chiefs have revealed that Travis Head is to be replaced by Cheteshwar Pujara as overseas batter for the County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup competition.

Following a request by Head to be released from his contract due to increased international commitments along with the news that he and his partner are expecting their first child, the club have agreed to this and replaced him with Pujara for the majority of the 2022 season.

Pujara will arrive in time for the first Championship match of the season and remain until at least the end of the RL50 competition.

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Head was to have been captain of the four-day side and after his fine Ashes series, anticipation was high over what he would bring the team - that despite a disappointing spell at Hove in 2021.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Josh Philippe

Sussex cricket figures pay tributes to Warne.

On announcing that he had signed for the club Cheteshwar said: “I am excited and honoured to be a part of the historic Sussex County Cricket Club for the upcoming season. I do look forward to joining up with the Sussex family soon and be a part of its rich cricketing history. Over the years I have always enjoyed my time in the UK playing county cricket, so eagerly looking forward to the new stint and hope to contribute to the club’s success.”

Sussex said: "We are delighted to welcome such an experienced international top order batter to the squad and look forward to his contribution both with the bat and in helping our younger top order batters continue their development in first class cricket.

Travis Head in recent Sheffield Shield action / Picture: Getty

"We are sorry Travis will not be joining us and wish him all the best with his international commitments and congratulate him and his partner Jessica on their news."

Head said, “I would like to stress that it’s important for me to support Jessica over the Australian winter while balancing a busy international schedule. It comes with disappointment during a very exciting period for me personally that I won’t be returning this season, I’ve built some great relationships and was very excited for it. I’m hopeful I can still have an impact at the club in the future and I will be watching the season very closely. I wish everyone all the best and thank you for the support.”

A new Championship Captain will be announced soon.

Following the re-arrangement of the Pakistan v West Indies one day series for early June, Sussex expect to have Mohammad Rizwan for the early part of the Championship season and at least eight of the Blast group games. He will arrive from the current Pakistan v Australia test series in time for the second round of the Championship staring on 14 April. Sussex added: "To ensure we have the strongest squad available for the remaining Blast matches and Championship matches during this period we have signed Australian batter/keeper Josh Philippe."

The Sydney Sixers star said on signing for Sussex: “I am delighted to be joining Sussex for the T20 Blast and the County Championship. The opportunity to play in England with a young and talented Sussex squad is something I am really looking forward to.”

Sussex also have the world’s number one T20 bowler Rashid Khan returning for another T20 Blast season at Hove. Subject to how far his IPL franchise team go in this year’s tournament they expect to have him available for much of the Blast including the knockout stages at the end of the competition, should they progress from the group stages.

Keith Greenfield, Performance Director said, “Considering the constantly changing schedules of overseas players and tours, the quality of international players we have secured to represent the club across all formats is very exciting for all involved.”