Ed Giddins admits he loves returning to Hove, but he is not so sure whether Sussex will be as pleased to see him when he pitches up at Hove today.

It's nothing to do with Giddins' controversial sacking by the county in 1996 when he was found guilty of drug taking.

Things have changed so much at Sussex since then that the only former team-mates still on the staff are Jason Lewry and James Kirtley.

And it is likely that the regime running the club these days would have treated Giddins with a bit more compassion than five years ago when he was shown the door hours after being handed an 18 month ban.

Since returning to the game with Warwickshire, Giddins hasn't been on the losing side against Sussex and he is confident that record will be maintained today with his new county Surrey in the quarter-final of the Benson and Hedges Cup.

There was speculation when Giddins decided to leave Edgbaston at the end of last season that he might return to the club where he spent the first six years of his career.

Giddins comes to Sussex regularly to see his family and he still has property within walking distance of the County Ground.

But even during his Warwickshire days, Giddins spent a lot of time belting up and down the M1 to his London home.

His good friend Nadeem Shahid - with whom he set up a lucrative winter business selling christmas trees - was already at Surrey so there was always a good chance he would end up at the Oval.

"When I decided to leave Warwickshire going to Surrey seemed to be the right move in a lot of ways," he said this week.

"Going back to Sussex was never really on the cards so I figured if you can't beat the best you might as well join them."

Surrey could conceivably field a team made up entirely of internationals today, but the contest may not be as one-sided as neutrals might think.

While Sussex came through top of their qualifying group, Surrey had to settle for runners-up spot after losing to Kent and they have also been beaten in both Norwich Union League games this season.

Giddins said: "Whoever gets the basics right will win the game.

"We're not taking Sussex lightly though. They are on a roll and I know from my own time there that they have some excellent players.

"The thing is that we bat so deep that it only needs one of our guys to come off to give us a good chance.

"Ally Brown got a hundred on Sunday against Leicestershire and batted really well and Ben Hollioake has scored three one-day fifties this season.

"He's not slogging it, just playing straight and hitting it nicely.

"Our bowling probably needs to get better, we didn't bowl particularly well on Sunday but if we bowl straight and stay disciplined then we back ourselves against most sides."

Giddins locks horns again with Sussex's overseas star Murray Goodwin, just over a year after their last meeting.

That was in the first Test against Zimbabwe at Lord's when Giddins, who was playing his second Test, returned match figures of 7-42 although it was Darren Gough who twice claimed Goodwin's wicket.

He seemed to have a bright international future ahead of him, but in the next two Tests Giddins finished wicketless and his England career has probably been consigned to history after four Tests.

Those were the undoubted highs of Giddins' career, but in 11 years as a pro he has never been part of a trophy winning side, something he aims to put right with Surrey with whom he has a two-year contract.

"I couldn't have made a better decision than joining Surrey," he said.

"The management, strength of squad, the way the place is run, the attitude of the players and the way they are treated is just superb and I am enjoying every minute of it."