Paul Elphick has declined an invitation to play for Brighton's senior team at the Sussex inter-league championships at Westergate, Fontwell, next Saturday.

The Brighton champion and six times holder of the title has not said why he will not be appearing.

Instead Brighton, expected to be seeded to meet Crawley in the senior men's final, have chosen veteran John Clarke, the 1973 Sussex champion, and Prakash Varsani.

They have impressive records. Clarke also won the Seaman Cup for the top eight Sussex men in 1971 and 1977 and four Sussex men's doubles titles between 1970-78. He is undefeated in the Brighton League this season.

Varsani is from Oldham and won the town title in 1999. As No.2 seed, he made the semi-finals of the Brighton Championships in 2000.

Crawley will announce their team just before the tournament starts at 9am.

Two players certain to be there are Mayur Majithia, the former town champion, and veteran Terry Haley.

England No.19 Ritchie Venner may play.

Venner, who has played in the final, said: "I shall wait and see on the day if I am needed, depending on how Clarke and Varsani play for Brighton."