Briggs and Archer want another dose of Blast success with Sussex - and the trophy to go with it

Left-arm spinner Danny Briggs believes the near-misses of the past two Vitality Blast seasons could prove to be the making of the current Sussex Sharks squad.

Danny Briggs celebrates a Blast wicket with Ben Brown last year / Picture: Getty
Danny Briggs celebrates a Blast wicket with Ben Brown last year / Picture: Getty

The Sharks suffered defeat in the final two years ago before they were the dominant force in the South Group last summer, only to run into a Moeen Ali masterclass in their quarter-final.

It was nonetheless a run to entertain Sharks fans, with six of the seven group stage matches at the 1st Central County Ground sold out, and they are clearly expecting more of the same this summer with the club’s Blast Passes having already sold out.

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Briggs believes those fans who are snapping up tickets early will be rewarded come the summer with the squad already eager to not only to confirm their status as one of county cricket’s most consistent and entertaining Twenty20 teams, but to covert that into silverware.

“The past two years have been very good. We’ve been consistent and won a lot of games and people have gained a lot of experience and confidence,” Briggs said.

“Obviously two years ago getting to Finals Day and not quite getting over the final hurdle hurt a lot of us. Last year we showed consistency by getting to the quarter-final and then Moeen Ali had a night out against us.

“That shows how close we are as a team – it would be nice to go the whole way.

“As a squad we have been fairly consistent in the format and it’s now a case of trying to push on. From the experiences we’ve had in the last two years it sets us up well to compete again.”

While the wintry weather remains the cricket season is fast approaching and tickets for all of the Vitality Blast group stage matches, which start earlier in May, went on sale today.

Jason Gillespie’s side will play six of their seven home matches under lights on a Thursday or Friday night and will feature on opening night when Kent Spitfires come to town on May 28.

A day later the Sharks make the short journey to Hampshire for the opening ‘El Clasicoast’ derby clash of the season.

It is a match-up that Sussex and England quick Jofra Archer admits is one of his favourite fixtures in the calendar and, while Sharks fans will likely hope he is instead at his destructive best for England this summer, he admitted he will always relish the chance to play in front of the Hove fans when the chance arrives.

“I enjoy the crowd – it’s a big part of the game and they always make you feel like you’re at home,” said Archer, who is confident a trip to Finals Day awaits the Sharks on September 5.

“We are going to get there so it’s not potentially (that we will play at Finals Day). It means a lot to try to win some silverware for Sussex.

“It’s a club I love and of course I’ve been here pretty much all of my career and I’d love to repay the fans and the management with something to show.”

Fans are encouraged to book their tickets early to ensure your place at the 1st Century County Ground for this summer’s Vitality Blast by contacting Sussex CCC or visiting the club website. Tickets are also available on this link: http://www.ecb.co.uk/vitalityblasttickets​