Jack Carson has worked long and hard to be an overnight success.

The Sussex off-spinner is one of the brightest prospects in the game.

Carson, a 20-year-old from Northern Ireland, took five wickets against Surrey at the end of the Bob Willis Trophy last year.

But his five-for against Yorkshire last week, including the wicket of England skipper Joe Root for just five, has really confirmed him as one of the players to watch.

Skipper Ben Brown compares his work rate to that king of Sussex spinners, Mushtaq Ahmed.

And that, ultimately, is a huge reason why Carson has made it into the Championship with Sussex.

Brown told The Argus: “He was on the academy. The drive he had to succeed is all part of his story.

“He’s a lad from Northern Ireland so he was coming over here away from his family to stick it out as an academy player.

“He didn’t initially get signed, hadn’t initially cracked it.

“So he has stuck at it and I think his determination was really impressive.

“All of a sudden he shot up in height as much as anything.

“Suddenly his bowling with the action he has got was a bit stronger and he did some work with Sals (coach Ian Salisbury).

“He was getting up to speeds of 55mph-plus “He always had a natural shape on the ball.

“You combine the height, the strength and the work with Sals and he suddenly looked a really serious prospect last year.

“Suddenly everyone was taking notice.

“He has always had a hugely impressive work rate, which I think is amazing for a spinner.

“I think it was Jeetan Patel a few years ago who did an article saying, if you want to be a young spinner in this country, you have got to bowl and bowl and bowl your overs.

“I remember Mushy being here and he said exactly the same thing. You bowl for hours and hours.

“Mushy would bowl for hours in training and Jack reminds me of that sort of drive.

“He has that determination to bowl his overs.

“The guy is bowling in the nets at lunch in a Championship game he is playing in. It is hugely impressive. People always get their rewards.

“The same with (opener) Aaron Thomason.

“He has worked and worked and worked, hit so many balls in the nets.

“You will always get your reward eventually if you have that sort of work rate.”

Carson had no qualms about testing himself against Root.

But that does not mean he played it down, treated the England skipper as just another batsman.

Brown said: “I would say one of his strengths is his character.

“It was actually NOT like he was bowling to anyone else.


“He was more in the contest, he was more determined to get him out.

“He had been talking about it all week.

“He wants those contests and, from a young player, that is exactly what you want to hear.

“You are not shy of the contest, you want to be the bloke who gets him out.

“In some respects it is no surprise that he did with that mentality.

“I thought he bowled really well at Root in both innings and he deserved it.”

Carson has 11 wickets already after three Championship rounds at 26.45 and Brown is happy to turn to him early in an innings.

His economy rate of 2.54, across 114.2 overs, is better even than that of Ollie Robinson so far.

Sussex host Lancashire at Hove from tomorrow while Glamorgan entertain Kent and Yorkshire are at home to Northants.