Sussex have been dealt a double blow ahead of the start of the new season.

Vice-captain Chris Nash is likely to miss at least the opening four County Championship matches as he recovers from a burst appendix.

All-rounder Luke Wright will also be absent for part of the start of the season as his wife is due to give birth in New Zealand.

Coach Mark Robinson said: “It is slow progress with Chris. He has had a major operation so I’m thinking it will be potentially another two months before he is ready to play again.

“We’re hoping he might be ready to return some time in May but we’re not sure whether that will be training or playing.”

Wright was expected to be available for the start of the season for the first time since 2010 after being overlooked at the IPL auction but is keen to be with his wife – who is from New Zealand – when she gives birth to their second child.

Sussex fly to Dubai today to continue their pre-season preparations which includes playing in the Emirates Airlines T20 Tournament plus two 50-over matches and a two-day game against Lancashire. Wright, Chris Jordan and skipper Ed Joyce miss the trip as they are currently at the World Twenty20 but England wicketkeeper Matt Prior is included.

Squad: Anyon, Beer, Brown, Finch, Hamilton-Brown, Hatchett, Jackson, Lewis, Liddle, Machan, Magoffin, Piolet, Prior, Wells, Yardy, Zaidi.