Andrew: Door open for Sussex’s return to Cricketfield Road if it suits all parties

Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew.
Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew.
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Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew admits the club is open to a return to Horsham in the future - but says it has to be right for all parties.

The county have not played at Cricketfield Road for the past two years owing to the lack of a main sponsor and it is not set to be part of Sussex’s schedule again next year.

T20 Sussex (fielding) v Chris Nash Invitation XI. Pic Steve Robards. Pic SR1714661 SUS-170623-094552001

T20 Sussex (fielding) v Chris Nash Invitation XI. Pic Steve Robards. Pic SR1714661 SUS-170623-094552001

Sussex’s visit to Horsham was an annual fixture for many years and 2016 was just the second time in 34 years that the county had not held a match there.

Andrew maintains outground fixtures are important to the club and Sussex still have the annual Arundel Festival - with a County Championship match and one-day or T20 fixture played at the picturesque ground each year - and last year Sussex returned to Eastbourne to play a fixture for the first time in 17 years.

Speaking this week about Sussex playing home fixtures away from their Hove base, Andrew said: “They’re very important and they’re a real part of the history of the club.

“They’re very important to spread the word and the game. Clearly this (Hove) is the home of Sussex Cricket but we are a county side.

“Eastbourne was a huge success last year, absolutely amazing and we would hope to repeat that next year. We’re looking at getting the fixtures in the next couple of weeks and then we’ll start to piece that together.

“Arundel is part of the fabric of Sussex County Cricket Club and obviously there’s been cricket at Horsham and we’ve now come away from it.

“But we are having discussions with Horsham about the possibility of going back there.

“It has to work for them and for us. We will continue to try to find ways of making it work.”

Andrew says there is no date in mind for when cricket could return to Horsham at the moment: “It’s always difficult to put a time frame on things because then people hold you to them.

“All I can say is there’s a willingness to talk from Horsham Cricket Club’s side and our side to see what a solution might be.

“It might be something like the Eastbourne situation with a one-day game. These things have to work for everybody but we’re very open to it and it’s a very important part of our remit, which is not just the men’s first team, our remit is across the whole county and looking after all cricket in Sussex.”

Andrew also spoke about Sussex stalwart Chris Nash leaving the club. The 34-year-old Horsham cricketer was released by the county a year before his contract ended - at his request - and has now joined Nottinghamshire.

Andrew said: “It was a difficult situation and difficult for him as well I think. At the end of the day, he asked to leave.

“You get to a point - particularly at the end of a player’s career - where if a player doesn’t want to be here and doesn’t want to go on the next phase of the journey and wants to try something else, then you’re better off allowing that to happen.

“It wasn’t our decision, it was Chris’s decision. We wish him well, he was a great servant to the club but we have to move forward.”