Sussex’s young batsmen have been given some expert tips by the king of England run-makers.

Sir Alastair Cook took time to share expertise after his Essex team grabbed a narrow win at Hove on Tuesday.

A youthful Sussex side pushed the county champions all the way before losing by three wickets in the Bob Willis Trophy.

There was also some one-to-one time for spinner Jack Carson with prolific Essex wicket-taker Simon Harmer.

Sussex skipper Ben Brown has defended selection policy and spoken of “social media noise” which put pressure on players.

But he believes younger squad members can benefit hugely from their Trophy experience.

Head coach Jason Gillespie asked Cook, who is England’s all-time leading Test match run-scorer, to speak to the Sussex batsmen.

Brown said: “They spent a good half an hour with him and he was generous enough to give his time.



“We had Simon Harmer look after Jack Carson and those kinds of things are invaluable.

“I know supporters will say this, that and the other about who’s playing and who’s not but those experiences for the young players are going to help us hugely in the future.

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“I’d say a big ‘thank you’ to those two boys at Essex for selflessly giving up their time. I thought it was a classy thing to do.”

Although matches are taking place behind closed doors, Brown says his team were aware of criticism after an innings defeat at Kent in their previous outing.

He added: “It was a huge week for us as a club and as a group.

“I was really proud of the guys and how we came back from adversity.

“It’s very difficult, especially for young people when you have a performance like that at Kent, which obviously wasn’t good enough.

“There is all the social media noise, a bit of carry-on and for the boys, especially younger guys who are not used to that, it’s a really difficult thing to deal with.

“There was a little bit of outside pressure and noise. To absorb all that and come back and play like we did against the champions, who were absolutely at full strength, I think was a fantastic performer this week.”

Sussex start a Trophy match versus Middlesex at Radlett tomorrow.