The County Ground at Hove is the place to go to on Sunday – but only if you want to see and hear the ska group Madness who are performing there. If it’s cricket you want, head to Edgbaston where Warwickshire host Sussex for a key game in Division One of the LV=County Championship.
The home side are lurking in fourth place in the table, having won three, lost one and drawn three of their games to date. If they are to mount a serious challenge for the title, settling for drawn games will not suffice. Top team Durham may have lost one more game than the Bears but they have won six and drawn none and are 29 points ahead of the Edgbaston outfit.
The only other team to have not yet drawn a game are visitors Sussex, who have won three but lost five. That leaves them only a dozen points and two places off the relegation spots, so both teams have an incentive to get some points out of this game.
When the teams met at Hove at the end of May, a low-scoring game on a pitch that was inspected by the ECB Pitch Consultant came to an exciting end in under three days when Sussex scraped home by one wicket. There will almost certainly be more runs scored this time but by the end of four days, we should have a winner.
For Warwickshire, it is surely time that the quality of Jonathan Trott shone through. He has looked confident but has so far failed to make much of an impression since his retirement from international cricket. The Bears have a varied bowling attack. It would make a major difference, however, if Chris Wright could return to his form of two seasons ago and start once again to take regular top order wickets
Sussex come to Edgbaston having pulled off a miraculous T20 Blast win over Gloucestershire thanks to a brilliant hundred from Luke Wright. They would love him to take that form into this match and play a major innings in the longer form of the game.
Warwickshire are still without the injured Chris Woakes and Sam Hain, and Ian Bell is absent on Ashes duty. Ian Westwood, whose early season form with the bat was a revelation, returns from injury but there are several in the batting line-up who are struggling for form in the four day game. Skipper Varun Chopra, Laurie Evans, Ateeq Javid and, not least, Jonathan Trott, are all due a big score. Young leg-spinner Josh Poysden who has impressed in the T20 Blast, is included in the squad and may possibly get a game.
Warwickshire squad: Varun Chopra (c), Tim Ambrose (wk), Rikki Clarke, Laurie Evans, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Ateeq Javid, Tom Milnes, Jeetan Patel, William Porterfield ,Josh Poysden, Boyd Rankin, Jonathan Trott, Ian Westwood, Chris Wright
Sussex, like Warwickshire, have shown some fragility in their batting, not least in the recent defeat at the hands of leaders Durham in their most recent match at Arundel. Both Sussex and England are going to be without Chris Jordan, who is out for six weeks. Jimmy Anyon, Lewis Hatchett and Ajmal Shahzad are also on the injured list. Matt Hobden and Ollie Robinson who missed the Durham game come back into the squad, which also includes Peter Burgoyne.
Sussex squad: Ed Joyce (Captain), Ben Brown (Wicket Keeper), Craig Cachopa, George Dockrell, Matt Hobden, Matt Machan, Steve Magoffin, Chris Nash, Ollie Robinson, Luke Wells, Luke Wright, Ashar Zaidi
Sussex squad: tba
Weather and Conditions
The forecast is for four dry days with the temperature steadily rising to hit 29 degrees on Wednesday. We can expect a decent pitch, so pity the poor bowlers if there is a run chase on the last day.
Date: 28th June- 1st July
Ground: Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
Umpires: Rob Bailey and David Millns
Odds (Skybet): Warwickshire 4/7; Sussex 5/4