Homegrown Sussex batsman Chris Nash is relishing another return to Horsham for the annual Festival of Cricket for what he has described as a ‘massive’ clash.
The former Horsham schoolboy is looking forward to a return to his old stomping ground in great form as he and his county team-mates get their LV=County Championship match underway on Sunday.
Nottingham are the opponents in the eagerly-anticipated four-day game which runs until Wednesday, before the Sussex Sharks kick-off their Royal London One-Day Cup match against Lancashire on July 26.
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Ex-Tanbridge House School and Collyer’s pupil Nash, who first played for Horsham’s colts as a seven-year-old, goes into the match having hit two centuries in his last two four-day matches.
He has revealed every time he returns to Cricketfield Road it is a special occasion but this time the County Championship match will sculpt the rest of their season as they host a team once place above them in the table.
He said: “It’s a beautiful ground and without doubt one of the nicest grounds in the country. It’s a great wicket and great atmosphere.
“A lot of the players in the changing room have spoken about how they are looking forward to it. Normally with out grounds it isn’t so much, but in terms of Horsham it’s a great wicket, great crowd and a proper cricket ground that makes it an interesting game.
“It’s a huge game. With six games left it is pretty much make or break, as whoever wins can push up the table and whoever loses will be scrapping it out in the last six.
“It’s a massive game for us and we have been on a good run recently against two very good sides we have got two good draws.”
Cricket fans are set to see a full contingent of Sussex stars along with Ashar Zaidi, Ed Joyce, Luke Wells, emerging talent Matt Machan and Luke Wright.
Vice-captain Nash continued: “It’s no real secret that it’s my favourite game of the year coming back home and playing at my home ground. And actually the whole squad are really looking forward to it.
“It’s a great wicket so we all enjoy playing there and we are really looked after as well.
“It was always my aim as a kid to play there, then score a hundred there, then captain there, so I have ticked off all those so now I’d love to hit another big hundred there or a big score.
“It’s always nice as when I am fielding on the boundary - often half asleep - I see some friend or faces that I went to school with. For me it’s a really nice week.
“The last couple of weeks have been really nice. On the early season pitches, the runs weren’t coming for any batsman - including myself - and you start wondering where the next run was coming from.
“But there has been a lot of hard work and from a personal point of view 100 at Edgbaston a couple of weeks ago, to follow that up with 142 not out against Somerset I am delighted and it’s nice to go into Horsham in a bit of form.”
Fellow Horsham colt Will Beer is likely to feature in the 50-over white ball game this Sunday and Nash is hoping England’s recent form in one-day cricket will have stirred the interest.
He added: “Interest, in terms of T20 cricket, had dropped off a little bit, but with the England and New Zealand series it has perked up a bit. A 50-over match against Lancashire will provide a really interesting spectacle.”
Play at Sunday’s match gets underway at 11am.
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