Sussex beat Leicestershire yesterday to achieve only their second victory in the second division of the Championship.
They won by 15 runs – a slim victory considering Leicestershire were set 498 and were at one stage 16-2.
In the final session they needed 42 runs to win with 3 wickets in hand. They lost 2 of them but – after Chris Wright, who will join Sussex, hit Fynn Hudson-Prentice for 2 sixes – it still seemed on.
Sussex have to thank spinner Jayved Unadkat – recommended by skipper Chet Pujara – who took 6-94.
Whilst it was an important win, the feeling remains that all is not well at the club.
We are 20 points behind Worcestershire who will be promoted if they win over Durham or Yorkshire.
Coach Paul Farbrace seems unhappy and had been linked with a move back to Kent.
The natives are restless and three on the cricket committee – Ian Gould, Matt Prior and Chris Adams – have been vocal in their criticism.
The performances in the white ball were well below par.
Yesterday Jack Carson had a public row with skipper Chet Pujara on the pitch from which disciplinary proceedings might well ensue.
The affable Chairman Jon Filby is putting forward a positive face.
It’s a young side and James Coles, spinner Jack Carson and Tom Clark have real potential – but will that be at Sussex, or will one of the big boys poach them?
There is a residual, underlying, problem here.
The turnover of Sussex is about £5 million – that is probably less than many of their business sponsors – and they do not host Test matches.
They have had to follow the same route as Gloucestershire at Bristol and Kent at Canterbury, namely selling part of their ground for development.
I passed Tate Buildings, formerly the Sussex Cricketers, pub and it’s now a tasteful block of flats in the centre of residential Hove.
Chief Executive Rob Andrew read land economy at Cambridge and worked in property in central London so he was the right person to mastermind the development which did not take away any seats nor affect the character of the ground – indeed the pub has been preserved on the ground floor of the block.
However, there is no more land to develop and it’s hard to see how any county without a Test status can survive.
The ECB grant a subsidy – a sweetener might be more accurate – to the counties who have given up players for the Hundred, but this competition is not popular and may not survive.