There were contrasting fortunes last season for both teams. Nottinghamshire emerged from a period of poor red-ball form that looked like it would never end to become contenders for the ultimate prize, finishing a creditable third.
While on the South Coast, Sussex’s Starlett Martletts struggled for consistent performances as the experienced heads jumped ship. Tom Haines proved a consistent presence with the bat, finishing as the leading run scorer in the County Championship.
Sussex have tried to strengthen the side with experienced overseas players; Travis Head was the first big signing, with the lure of captaining a county side. It was Sussex’s misfortune that Head found form for Australia during the winter’s Ashes series and is no longer the option Sussex were looking for. They also have the returning Fynn Hudson-Prentice who is returning to his home county after spell with Derbyshire who can contribute with bat and ball, while there is extra pace and experience in the bowling line up with the signing of Steven Finn from Middlesex.
With the County Championship going back to its pre covid structure, Notts will be back in division two. Although their results last year suggest they go into this season with every confidence.
Sussex will be hoping to turn their form around with a mixture of young talent and experience and the first game of the season is their best chance to beat a Notts side with a top-order that will be overly keen to prove a point. For once it is a Notts side that has minimal change over the winter, with no additions to the squad and only a few depatures.
It could be a battle of the two experienced seam bowlers in what could prove helpful conditions for the bowlers.
There are few bowlers as consistent in county cricket as Luke Fletcher; a haul of 66 wickets last year showed that Fletcher is still hungry for wickets. With bowlers like Stuard Broad, Dane Paterson, and James Pattinson unavailable, Fletcher will be required to lead the attack.
Steven Finn gives the Sussex Pace attack some much-needed experience with Ollie Robinson expected to be on international duty. Sussex needed a new spearhead for much of the summer, and Finn is the man for the job. With the likes of Jamie Atkins and Henry Crocombe.
Cheteshwar Pujara has issues with his visa, which means he won’t be able to start for Sussex until next week. In addition, Mohammad Rizwan has just finished an international series against Australia, so that he will be unavailable.
Tom Alsop and George Burrows should make their Sussex debuts; Alsop, the wicketkeeper batsman, is on loan from Hampshire, whereas Burrows has signed a short-term contract and should bolster the bowling options.
Sean Hunt, Jack Carson, and Fynn Hudson-Prentice are all side lined with injury, while George Garton is still suffering from long Covid.
Notts are without Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, and overseas players Dane Paterson, who doesn’t arrive until next week and James Pattinson, whose season in Australia has only just finished.
Sussex Squad: Tom Alsop, Jamie Atkins, George Burrows, Oli Carter, Tom Clark, James Coles, Henry Crocombe, Steve Finn, Tom Haines (c), Dan Ibrahim, Archie Lenham, Ali Orr, Delray Rawlins
Nottinghamshire Squad: Steven Mullaney (c), Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Joey Evison, Luke Fletcher, Haseeb Hammed, Calvin Harrison, Lyndon James, Tom Moores (wk), Liam Patterson-White, Ben Slater, Toby Pettman.
Weather and Conditions
While there isn’t any significant rain forecast for day one, a strong breeze could make things challenging for the fielding side. The only real threat of rain is on day two but should clear up for sunny but chilly intervals; days three and four look the best weather wise as it starts to warm up a little.
Date: 7-10 April 2022 11am
Venue 1st Central County Ground, Hove
Sky Bet Odds: Sussex 13/8 Nottinghamshire 4/9