Sussex punches above its weight in sport. Brighton and Hove Albion FC is one of the best supported teams in the country, never mind the championship in which they reached the play offs: there is fine horse racing at Goodwood: Eastbourne has a leading speedway team and top level tennis is played at Devonshire Park; Steve Ovett is a son of Brighton, there is a statue of him on the front and Chts Ewbank lives there too.
In cricket, Sussex’s roster includes such luminaries as Ted Dexter, Imran Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed and Matt Prior. On a sunny day there are are no nicer places to watch cricket than either Arundel under the castle ramparts, or Hove – where the gulls swoop and the sea air cleanses your lungs. I went there yesterday to to see the 20/20 game between Sri Lanka and Sussex Sharks. It was, as you might expect, a one-sided game between the world champions and a strong county team. Sussex posted a total of 128, half of which came from Mike Machan, which Sri Lanka achieved in 9 overs.
20/20 – with its rock music and biff-bang batting – has its critics, but the fans like it and it can, as happened with Sussex winning off the last ball against Surrey last Friday, produce an exciting finsh.
Sri Lanka have adapted much better to all forms of the gamet han say England and their wristy batsman like Dilshan are always enjoyable to watch. It’s been a troubled country with the Tamils (of which Murilithanan is one) and cricket has certainly provided some unity. Sussex, under the capriancy of Mike Yardy who is having a deserved benefit this year, should continue to be one of the power houses of domestic cricket.