Sussex are almost certain to play their curtailed Hove season behind closed doors.

Yesterday’s news that spectators could be allowed into venues in October appears to have ruled out any chance of gates being opened at the 1st Central County Ground.

The fact two county cricket matches have been picked as trial events with spectators present keeps a glimmer of hope alive.

But it would appear the public will have to enjoy the Sussex season via a free streaming service.

Fixtures for the Bob Willis Trophy, which will replace the County Championship for 2020, are due to be released next week.

Sussex will play Surrey, Middlesex, Essex, Kent and Hampshire with the group winners progressing to a Lord’s final if their record is good enough.

The Vitality Blast, in which Sussex will play their south-east rivals home and away, is due to begin at the end of August.

Sussex chief executive Rob Andrew said: “It’s great that we’re preparing for some meaningful cricket when, a couple of months ago, it looked like we might have to write off the season. It’s a massive bonus.

“I am slightly surprised, given the nature of cricket grounds, that we can’t operate with some spectators and the advice from ECB and government could still change.”