Cricket chat was off the menu the first time Michael Burgess met Sussex’s new head coach.

Now the wicketkeeper-batsman is hoping Jason Gillespie gives him the message he wants – that he is in the team for the start of the season.

Burgess ended last season with a knock of 146 against Northants and a new contract taking him to the end of the 2018 season.

He had started it by joining as a free agent after being let go by Leicestershire and standing in very capably for the injured Ben Brown in early-season fixtures.

Burgess hit 50 in the final innings of pre-season this week and is one of 13 men in a squad selected for the Specsavers County Championship opener at Edgbaston.

He kept himself in shape over the winter in the heat of Adelaide.

A stint with the Adelaide University club left him in Gillespie’s home city for four months.

He told The Argus: “Adelaide was very hot. It was my third time back there, second time at this club, and I absolutely loved it again.

“I think I did just shy of four months this time and we got to the final of everything – but didn’t win anything, unfortunately.

“Winter training here is all indoor nets and gym whereas, if you go away, you are playing proper games.

“Aussie grade cricket is still a really good level and you’re training in good facilities.

“I didn’t actually know Dizzy was from South Australia.

“Salty (Sussex batsman Phil Salt) was out there as well with us and then I knew he was taking charge of Sussex and the Strikers.

“We had lunch with Dizzy, met for the first time and it was really nice to touch base and say hello before the season starts.

“It was very non-cricket related, just getting to know each other in a friendly conversation.

“It was basically just a chat.”

Brown, who will lead the side from behind the stumps, did not bat in the final friendly against Surrey at Hove.

With limited time available, it was thought more of a priority to get others to the middle given the skipper had already hit two centuries in pre-season.

Burgess made his 50 and hopes hard work last term, much of it in the seconds, is bearing fruit.

He said: “Browny went down injured early on and I got the chance to keep and play.

“I was working to get that contract for the rest of the season – and it finally came at the end of July.

“But I think the good thing was I was playing competitive cricket.

“I didn’t really have time to think about my own situation, which was kind of helpful to take my mind of it.

“It was a long time waiting but it was worthwhile when it came through.

“I always knew when Browny came back I would have to come in as a batter so I upped my batting with nets time and training time.

“Yards (Mike Yardy) is brilliant, so is Swifty (Jason Swift). When we need a hit they will always be there to throw us some balls. I just did more, basically.

“I still do my keeping practice but I realise that, if I’m going to get in, it will be as a batter.”