Expect a competitive battle when Sussex take on Hampshire at Arundel tomorrow.

But there is unlikely to be a repeat of the discord which has marred recent meetings between the sides.

Hampshire vice-captain Shaun Udal, who made his Championship debut at the Castle Ground 17 years ago, has revealed that a session in the Sussex Cricketer pub at the end of last season helped cleared the air.

In his recently-published autobiography My Turn to Spin' Udal disclosed how relations between the sides sunk to an all-time low during two one-day games last season.

In the first, at Hove in the C&G Trophy, Udal accused James Kirtley of throwing after the Sussex bowler had taken five wickets.

Trouble had been brewing since an ill-tempered exchange involving rival captains Chris Adams and Shane Warne after a Championship match in 2005.

Adams accused his opposite number of verbally abusing Matt Prior prompting a furious response from Warne.

Udal said: "James Kirtley's career was blighted when he was called for throwing and I know he worked extremely hard in the winter of 2005-06 on rehabilitating his action.

"We knew it must have been tough for him but when he took three quick wickets that day it was obvious to us that the quicker he bowled the more he bent his arm. In short, we thought he was throwing.

"When I was one of his victims he raised his arms in triumph and I said to him at least your arm is straight now.' "I was reported for the remark and with Michael Yardy getting involved it all turned a bit nasty. Kirtley's action that day was not right' and Warney went public to condemn it, refuelling the antagonism."

Three weeks later the sides were at it again, this time during a Twenty20 Cup match at Arundel when Matt Prior was run out by Chris Benham after straying out of his crease in the mistaken belief that umpire Allan Jones had called over.

Udal added: "We drank with Sussex in the bar afterwards and were more than surprised when Adams again aired his views in condemning us for our unsporting behaviour."

Udal had taken over the captaincy for the return game ten days later and spoke to Adams to clear the air.

All seemed fine until Kirtley refused to shake hands with the Hampshire players at the end of the game.

"I had a drink with him later because he was patently nursing a deep grievance," added Udal. "It was clear he had been worried about his career, so to have us question it again had set him back.

"I was in no position to apologise for Shane, but I did apologise for my reaction at Hove. I regretted it, we shook hands and hoped that would be an end to a summer of hostilities between the counties."

It was. No ill-feeling lingered into the Championship meeting at Hove in September which Udal described as the most enjoyable match of the season.

He said: "Warne and Adams chatted, got over their differences and the game was played in a proper spirit. Both sides spent an hour or two in the bar later and the whole tawdry catalogue of disputes was brought to an end."

There are no more combative captains in the county game but there is also a healthy mutual respect and Adams expects one of Sussex's hardest games of the season this week.

He said: "We've just had three tough days against Lancashire and I expect Shane Warne and Hampshire to come at us hard as well. But that's the Championship these days - no game is easy, you have to earn any success you get."

Sussex (from): Montgomerie, Nash, Yardy, Goodwin, Adams, Hodd, Martin-Jenkins, Wright, Rana Naved, Mushtaq Ahmed, Lewry, Kirtley, Rayner.

Hampshire (from): Adams, Brown, Crawley, Lumb, Carberry, Pothas, Mascerenhas, Warne, Tremlett, Clark, Bruce, Tomlinson.