Sussex skipper Chris Adams wants to finish his career with at the County Cricket ground.

The 32-year-old, who is about to embark on his sixth season as captain and 16th in the first-class game, hopes the next contract he signs will be his last.

And, in the short term, he believes Sussex are capable of a top-three Championship finish this season.

As the players reported back this week to begin preparations for the new season, Adams revealed: "I've got one year left on my contract at the end of this season and I sincerely hope the next one I sign will keep me here for the rest of my career.

"I certainly have no desire to move on. I love the place, it's been good to me and I hope that what I've brought to the team is appreciated.

I would certainly love to finish my career here, there's no doubt about that."

Sussex will operate with the smallest professional staff in their history this season of just 18 players, but Adams is happy for the emphasis to be on quality rather than quantity.

He added: "We're maturing as a squad and the beauty of a smaller squad is that there are fewer players who aren't sure whether they can play first-class cricket or not and more who will turn up expecting to be in the side.

"Collectively, we can take teams apart now rather than waiting for one or two individuals to do it, we've got more match-winners if you like, especially now we've signed Mushtaq Ahmed.

"It's not just a collective battle also competition for places from within the squad and everyone here now will feel they are good enough to be in the team."

Sussex open their Championship programme at Lord's against Middlesex on April 23 but Adams believes the team to beat will once again come from south of the river.

"Surrey will be favourites because they are a tough team to break down over a season," said Adams.

"We have beaten them in the past perhaps when we have played out of our skins while they haven't been at the races. Now I feel we're in a position to take them on face to face.

"You never say never and I'm not saying yhis is our season to win the Championship. But I'm convinced a top three place is a realistic aim and a reflection of the progress we've made."