SUSSEX Cricket have announced new captains for the County Championship and T20 teams ahead of the 2022 season.

Tom Haines will succeed Ben Brown as County Championship captain on an interim basis, with Ollie Robinson remaining vice-captain. Ravi Bopara will take over from Luke Wright as T20 captain, with George Garton as his vice.

Australian international Travis Head was due to captain the side, but the batsman returned to his native country due to increased international commitments, along with the news that he and his partner are expecting their first child.

Haines enjoyed a successful Summer in 2021, becoming the first batter to reach 1,000 runs in the Championship, as well as captaining Sussex in both the Royal London Cup and in the latter part of the County Championship. The club will ensure the in-form batsman has all the support needed to lead the side this summer.

The Argus: Tom Haines will captain Sussex this seasonTom Haines will captain Sussex this season

Commenting on the decision to award Haines the captaincy, Head Coach Ian Salisbury said: “Tom Haines has been brilliant for Sussex, not only with his run scoring, but also the leadership he showed last season in both the 50 over and County Championship games. This is a great step in his development, and he will be supported by the experienced lads like Steve Finn and Ollie Robinson.”

Leading the T20 side this year will be legendary all-round Ravi Bopara, who signed a new T20 contract with the club in August 2021. Ravi has been a key member of the Sharks side in the past two years, helping them to reach T20 Finals Day last year, and should he not be available, the team will be captained by either Jofra Archer or Tymal Mills. George Garton will be vice-captain, as he continues his development at Sussex.

Bopara takes on the role after long-time servant Luke Wright stepped down to focus on his batting and to support both Ravi and George Garton.

Sussex’s T20 Head Coach, James Kirtley commented: “Ravi’s appointment was an obvious one for us, he’s got tremendous experience at the highest level, having played over 400 T20 games in his career. But for me, when you look down at the list of players available to us, we have such talent and experience within the squad that it could have gone many of the boys.

“George Garton will be vice-captain, and we are very conscious of not over-burdening him as he continues his development, so he will remain vice-captain in the absence of Ravi.

“If Ravi isn’t available for whatever reason, either Jofra Archer or Tymal Mills will captain the side.

“Not only are Jofra and Tymal fantastic T20 cricketers, but they are also great lads, lads who I am sure will inspire the rest of the team. Both players are hugely important for this side, and I feel this decision goes someway to recognise their contributions to the Sharks.”