Coach Mark Robinson admits Chris Jordan’s spectacular rise has left Sussex in limbo.
Jordan is unlikely to be available for Sussex for the majority of the summer after establishing himself in the England team but the fact he does not have a central contract means the club are unable to bring in a replacement.
The 25-year-old is due to play in the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka today and is hotly tipped to make his Test debut against the same opposition next week. Jordan has played just two Championship games and two NatWest T20 Blast games for Sussex this season due to his England commitments.
He currently has an incremental contract which means Sussex receive compensation when he misses games for the county.
If England were to give Jordan a central contract it would mean the ECB take over paying his salary for at least a year which would free up money for Sussex to look for a replacement. However, central contracts are not usually given out until the end of the summer.
Robinson said: “You have to budget as if he is here but plan as if he is not because if he got injured tomorrow or dropped (by England) he would be back on our pay roll.
“If there is a player out there as good as CJ he would cost a lot of money and suddenly you would be paying double that.
“If he had a central contract it would make it a lot easier but I think it is too early yet for him to be given one so we are not going to get somebody this season.
“We could try to get somebody but the chances of doing that mid-season would be impossible anyway unless they were a Kolpak (a foreign player who is not regarded as an overseas player). Realistically we will have to wait until the end of the year.”