By Ian Walker
This year, the county cricket season will make it’s earliest ever start, the first fixture being played on April 5th, with many of the top players across the league still out with international fixtures.
Sussex County Cricket has begun their pre season schedule, this week announcing the 15- man squad due to travelling to Dubai. The squad will again be led by Michael Yardy this year, as they look to better their 5th place finish of 2011.
Head coach Mark Robinson, Shrewd and popular former Sussex medium-pacer will again be leading the squad this year. The man still holds the world record for 12 first-class ducks in a row, has been at the reins for seven years and is regarded as one of the best up and coming coaches.
A breadth of new additions this year to the one day squad, former Essex all rounder Scott Styris has joined the 2012 Friends Life T20 campaign.
Star all rounder Luke Wright, who missed out on most of last season with a knee injury, will also miss the start of this season after signing for IPL outfit Pune Warriors.
Despite star bowler Monty Panesar missing the first few games due to responsibilities with the England squad in West Indies, he will return to grace the PROBIZ ground once again.
Prediction for 2012: Fifth in Division One: Sussex lost an entire seam attack in Martin-Jenkins, Kirtley, Collymore and Arafat back in 2010. They more than coped last year by exceeding prediction and finishing a solid 5th.
A strong spin-bowling attack featuring the prolific Monty Panesar and the leg-spinner Will Beer should again cause havoc at the wicket.
Meanwhile England keeper and all rounder Matt Prior along with newcomer Scott Styris should bring a much needed new dynamic to Sussex batting.