Sussex have tended to crash out of the Vitality Blast a bit too early for Phil Salt’s liking.

Now the big-hitting opener is ready to get back on the bike and help them put that right.

Salt has recovered from a broken foot which he suffered in a pre-season cycling accident in the Peak District.

He will shoulder the twin responsibility of run-maker and wicketkeeper in this year’s T20.

Sussex open their campaign against Gloucestershire at Bristol this evening (6.30pm).

They then get the home schedule under way when Hampshire visit Hove tomorrow (7pm).

The last time supporters saw the Sharks in action was when Moeen Al flayed them to a quarter-final defeat by Worcestershire at the 1st Central County Ground in 2019.

They went all the way to the final the previous year before losing to Worcestershire in a final which seemed to be within their control at one stage.

Sussex were beaten quarter-finalists last year, bowled out for 94 by Lancashire at Hove, although that felt a bit like a non-event with the stands empty.

About 2,000 will hope to see Sussex to a home win tomorrow.

Salt said: “We are a strong team. We know in the last few years, with the calibre of side we have, we haven’t done ourselves justice.

“You look down the team, there’s international experience almost all the way through.

“We want to be winning. We want to be in the big games, we want to be in those pressure moments and we want to be coming out on the right side of them.

“We want to be at Finals Day. We want to have a good Finals Day.

“But before we get there we have got to set about what have done so well in the last few years.

“That’s being consistent, playing well and winning the group. That will be our target.”

Salt has sat out the Championship so far after a painful foot turned out to be a break.

He was on a cycling trip with his brother when he was knocked off by a motorbike.

An initial X-ray did not discover the break but he had a follow-up when the pain did not subside after two weeks.

He said: “I had to be in a moon boot for six weeks and rehab it that way.

“I’ve been back hitting for nearly a month.

“There was a chance I would have been back for the last four-day game, before the T20s.

“But the medical staff decided it was best for me to prepare for the T20s.

“Any setback, however minor, in the four-day game would have hurt T20.

“I’m in a very good place at the moment.

“Every cloud has a silver lining and all the rest of it.

“When you have a break you have a decision to make.

“It's whether you are going to sit there and be frustrated, which is a very easy road to go down when you are injured.

“Or whether you are going to use the time productively and focus when you need to but also have a little break and that is what I did.”

Salt scored 86 off just 40 balls as Sussex beat Surrey in, nominally, a 2nd XI game this week.

His season will include a crack at The Hundred with Manchester.

He also remains on the fringes of the England set-up.

And there might be a bit more cycling too if he gets time.

He said: “I’ve not been out on the bike recently but I like to.

“I had a bit of a decision to make when I was hit but I decided I wasn’t going to let that get the better of me.

“It can turn into a situation where you never get on a bike again.

“I don’t think that is any way to live.


“It has made me a bit more wary!

“But I decided to get back on it and enjoy what I enjoy doing.”

England’s Chris Jordan and 16-year-old spinner Archie Lenham, son of Neil, are in the Sussex squad for the first two fixtures.

Sussex squad: Wright (captain), Beer, Bopara, Carter, Crocombe Garton, Head, Jordan, Lenham, Mills, Rawlins, Salt, Thomason, Wiese.