Sussex’s “vulnerable” out-of-contract players have been urged to seize their unexpected chance.

The county are ready to open their Bob Willis Trophy campaign at home to Hampshire on Saturday.

A two-day pre-season match against the same county ended as a draw yesterday.

Sussex skipper Ben Brown says it has been a worrying time as Covid-19 threatened to wipe out the season.

He said: “There is a huge amount riding on it for some people and clearly preparation hasn’t been ideal.

“We have all been on furlough for so long but there’s not a lot we can do about that.

“We have just got to compete now, get into the fight of it and do everything we can.

“We have had some really competitive intra-club cricket, including with the academy, who have been really impressive and there are opportunities there.

“All you can ask is to have an opportunity as a player and guys have got that which it looked like we wouldn’t have at some point in the summer.

“Hopefully some of those guys who are feeling a little bit vulnerable at the minute will be able to make a statement.”