Ravi Bopara is set to make his Sussex debut as the Vitality Blast season gets under way.

But Sharks will NOT be able to call-up Laurie Evans for the T20 competition.

Bopara is in the squad to face Surrey behind closed doors at Hove today (2pm).

He brings a wealth of experience and talent and helped Essex win the trophy last season.

Evans was expected to return from Surrey, where he has been playing on loan in the Bob Willis Trophy.

However he will now be staying at the Oval, where he has signed a contract in all formats for the next two seasons.

He is not allowed to play against Sussex in the remainder of this season.

Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie said: “From a club point of view, we’re obviously disappointed.

“Laurie made it clear he was keen to start his time at Surrey. It therefore made sense for all parties to allow him to play for them now.

“With Laurie preferring not to play for our team, it allows another player the opportunity to represent Sussex in the Vitality Blast.

“Laurie has performed well for us in one-day and T20 cricket in the past, and we wish him well for the future.

“Our focus now is on our players and to prepare them in the best possible way to allow us to challenge for success in the Blast.”