Sharma unavailable as Gillespie announces 13-man squad for Middlesex game

Sussex start their fourth Specsavers County Championship match in as many weeks on Friday, with Middlesex making their first four-day visit to The 1st Central County Ground since 2015.

Sussex head coach, Jason Gillespie, has named a 13-man squad for the match. Overseas player, Ishant Sharma is unavailable after suffering an acute shoulder injury while fielding the ball during the match against Gloucestershire.

Phil Salt was the only batsman from either side to reach fifty during Sussexs draw against Gloucestershire. (Photo: Sussex Cricket/James Boardman

Phil Salt was the only batsman from either side to reach fifty during Sussexs draw against Gloucestershire. (Photo: Sussex Cricket/James Boardman

George Garton and Abi Sakande are included for the first time this season after overcoming knee and side injuries respectively.

Ishant has made significant progress since suffering the injury to his right shoulder on Sunday, but, with the short turnaround between games, has not been able to recover in time.

Leg-spinner, Will Beer continues his rehabilitation from a side injury sustained during the match against Leicestershire at Grace Road and is expected to slowly return to bowling over the coming weeks.

Looking ahead to the fixture against relegated Middlesex, Gillespie said: “The weather looks pretty good for the next four days, which is a big plus after last week. That should give us the opportunity to play lots of cricket and really test ourselves against a quality opposition in Middlesex.

“I feel like we’ve made progress with every game we’ve played so far and the lads are enjoying pushing themselves to get better all the time.

“We’re having a lot of fun and the boys are excited to get back out there for another crack.”

Sussex have begun their season with three draws against Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Gloucestershire, with the amount of cricket played limited by the weather. No other side in the division has more batting or bowling bonus points than Sussex.

Nine of the eleven players that took the field against Gloucestershire have made at least one score of 44 or more, with three batsmen scoring hundreds so far.

David Wiese’s five-wicket haul during Gloucestershire’s first innings has propelled him to the top of the list of Sussex’s Championship wicket takers. He has ten scalps at an average of 20.4.

Ollie Robinson and the injured Ishant have eight wickets, with five bowlers in total taking at least three wickets in an innings.

Middlesex have won one, lost one and drawn one of their three matches. Their most recent encounter was a severely weather-affected draw against Glamorgan at Lord’s.

Seamers, Steven Finn and Toby Roland-Jones are both out injured for the visitors, but batsman Nick Gubbins has recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered during the North-South Series in Barbados in March.

In fifth and sixth place in the division two table respectively, both Sussex and Middlesex have 29 points from their three games. Just three points currently separate first from sixth.

Play is scheduled to start at 11am on all four days of the match. Tickets are available on the gate, with entry available from 9.30am.

Supporters can stream the match live via the Sussex Cricket Match Centre, which also includes a live scorecard, live statistics and the @SussexCCC twitter commentary feed.

Sussex CCC squad:

26. Ben Brown (capt./wk)

21. Danny Briggs

5. Michael Burgess

15. George Garton

6. Harry Finch

25. Ollie Robinson

11. Abi Sakande

28. Phil Salt

74. Stiaan van Zyl

29. Stuart Whittingham

96. David Wiese

32. Luke Wells

10. Luke Wright

Salt shakes things up for Sussex

Wells: I'm confident of big scores from Salty, Finch... and me

Now you can watch Sussex without being there in person