New Sussex bowler wants to strike fear into opposition batsmen

Stuart Meaker wants to help the Sussex attack terrify opposition batsmen – and win promotion to the top flight of the county championship.

Stuart Meaker in one-day action for Surrey / Picture: Getty
Stuart Meaker in one-day action for Surrey / Picture: Getty

The new recruit from Surrey, a former England international, is a sixth addition to the Sussex squad since the end of the 2019 as the county put together a squad they hope can do well in the county championship, one-day cup and Vitality Blast.

Meaker said: “Ideally, I’d like to get some wickets in the bank for myself but mostly it’s about the team being a success and I want to contribute in any way, shape or form on the field.

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“It isn’t just about my wickets column necessarily, that’s a bonus but it’s about being a team player and helping in any situation that occurs.

... and in county championship action for his old county / Picture: Getty

“I want to push players forward and help them learn, that’s the success I’m looking for as well as getting some silverware.”

Meaker highlighted the strengths his new side have and believes his addition can prove a problem for opponents in the 2020 campaign.

He added: “Without doubt, if everyone is available for selection then we have a very pacy attack. It will be nice charging down the field seeing the fear in the batsman as we hit him with a bit of a barrage. I see the moves the club are making to get into division one and I think it’s an exciting year to be a part of this side and gain promotion at the end of it.”

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Sussex after his release from Surrey and he joins another two former Surrey men, Chris Jordan and Laurie Evans, at Hove.

Meaker can’t wait to get started and join up with the squad. “I know the lads through playing against them over the years and playing with some too and we all have the same mind sets. “They’re all a good bunch and I can’t wait to be a part of this team.”

Meaker started his career with Surrey in 2008 and made his first class debut against Loughborough.

In September 2011 he was called into the England squad for their one-day series in India.

Meaker took 348 wickets in 167 appearances for Surrey and has four England appearances to his name, two ODIs and two IT20s in 2011 and 2012. He played 17 times for England Lions across all formats, taking 28 wickets.

Despite spending his whole career to date with Surrey, Meaker is excited to join an ambitious club in Sussex.

“I’ve obviously been at Surrey since I was young so this is different, but it’s exciting and new and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve always admired Sussex from afar, they punch above their weight and have a really strong work ethic.”

Opportunities have been limited as of late for Meaker at Surrey, which is part of the reason for joining Sussex. But he hopes he can now get back to playing regularly and at his best.

“It has been difficult the past couple of years being left out the squad through things such as injuries which means I’ve lacked playing time, but they (Surrey) have a lot of good players so it’s hard to break back into that kind of team.

“It was a natural move for me to come to Sussex and I’ve come here to not sit on the sidelines but to play and I see real opportunity to contribute not only with bowling but batting too.”

Stuart Meaker is Sussex’s sixth winter addition to the squad.

Other signings are:

* Ravi Bopara, who has ended his 18-year spell with T20 and county champions Essex as he looks to add to his career achievements.

* Australian batsman Travis Head, who might have signed for Sussex a year earlier only for the move to be dealyed by an Ashes call-up

also put pen to paper for Sussex, joining them for the upcoming 2020 season.

* Rashid Khan, the world star and T20 specialist from Afghanistan, whose return for a hird Vitality Blast campaign in 2020 was announced in November.

* Former Kent right-arm seamer Mitch Claydon, who brings a wealth of county experience after seven years at Canterbury.

* Youngster Tom Clark, who has signed his professional contract with Sussex after making his first-class debut for his boyhood club in September.