Pujara and Hughes boost Sussex batting options for 2024 season

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Sussex Cricket have confirmed they have re-signed India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and recruited Australian batter Daniel Hughes as overseas signings for the 2024 season.

Fan favourite Pujara will return to the 1st Central County Ground for a third season and will be available for the first seven County Championship games.

After that Hughes will be available from the start of the T20 Vitality Blast until the end of the season. He will play in the County Championship as well as the Blast.

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But Sussex head coach Paul Farbrace has opted not to use overseas players in this year’s Metro Bank One Day Cup.

Daniel Hughes and Chet Pujara are Sussex-bound in 2024 | Pictures: Getty ImagesDaniel Hughes and Chet Pujara are Sussex-bound in 2024 | Pictures: Getty Images
Daniel Hughes and Chet Pujara are Sussex-bound in 2024 | Pictures: Getty Images

The two batsmen will complement the two overseas bowlers, Jayden Seales and Nathan McAndrew who have also signed for the club for the 2024 campaign.

It’s good news for Sussex and their fans who were rocked recently by Ali Orr’s switch to Hampshrie.

Pujara is a man that needs no introduction at Hove. In his 18 County Championship appearances for Sussex, Pujara has accumulated an astonishing 1863 runs at average of 64.24, including eight centuries and three half-centuries.

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His highest score for Sussex came against Derbyshire in 2022 when he made 231, when he shared a stand of 351 with Tom Haines, who also chalked up a double century.

In 2023, his highest score of 151 came against Gloucestershire, a knock that included 20 fours and two sixes.

Pujara said: "I have enjoyed my time at Hove the last couple of seasons and couldn’t be more delighted to be back again with the Sussex family. I am looking forward to joining the team and contributing to its success."

Farbrace said: “I am delighted that Cheteshwar is returning to Hove again for the first two months of the season. He is not just a high-quality player but is also a high-quality person. His experience and calmness in matches is a fantastic asset for our team.”

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Hughes is an aggressive top-order batsman who forced his way into the current New South Wales Blues side on sheer weight of runs.

In first-class cricket, Hughes averages 36.90 with a best knock of 178. In his 137 innings, Hughes has gone on to 26 half-centuries and eight half-centuries.

Hughes claimed his second Steve Waugh Medal in 2019-20 after receiving his first in 2017-18. The Blues and Sydney Sixers opener also claimed the NSW Blues Marsh One-Day Cup Player of the Season award.

In T20 cricket Hughes has accumulated 2144 runs in 92 innings at a strike rate of 120.92 and has been part of the Sydney Sixers team that won back-to-back Big Bash League titles in 2020 and 2021.

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Speaking on joining fellow Australian McAndrew at Sussex, Hughes said: “Playing county cricket has been a long-held ambition for me. I am delighted to get that opportunity at Sussex.

“I respect the strong traditions of the Club. The plans that exist for team are exciting and I look forward to getting to Hove and helping Sussex with success along the way”.

Farbrace said: “We are all very pleased to welcome Dan to Hove, he is a top-class player and has vast amounts of experience. We are all very much looking forward to working him and enjoying how he helps our team on and off the field.”

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