Luke Wright insists his Sussex side have all the incentive they need as they try to send Mike Yardy into retirement with a trophy.
Yardy has announced he will be leaving the game at the end of the season and Wright says the Sharks are desperate for a repeat 2009 when Yardy led them to their only triumph in Twenty20.
“Yards deserves to go out with a trophy because he’s been absolutely fantastic for us over the years,” said Wright.
“I feel sorry for him sometimes because he’s always our go-to bowler. He has to bowl the hardest overs at the end with the shortest boundary but he just gets on with it and has done throughout his career.
“To send him into retirement with a trophy would be fantastic but we have a lot of hard work to do first.”
Sussex need a point to guarantee their place in the last eight for the first time since 2012 as they head to The Oval on Friday to face Surrey in front of what is expected to be a 20,000-plus crowd.
The Sharks missed the chance to book their place in the quarter finals when they narrowly failed to overhaul a target of 204 against Hampshire last Friday and with Surrey one of several sides still in the mix for a top-four finish in the South Group it promises to be a tense evening.
Not that Wright, who has scored 564 runs including 29 sixes, will have any nerves. Instead, he is urging his team to relish the high-stakes occasion.
“It’s almost like a knockout game before the quarter finals with a big crowd and live on Sky. We’re all looking forward to it,” he said.
“In big games you want everyone going into it wanting to be man of the match and that’s what I have told the lads.
“We lost last Friday, which was disappointing but there was nothing wrong with the way we approached the chase of over 200. We had a lot of momentum throughout and it gave the lads a lot of confidence.
“We’d have taken the position we’re in at the start of the season.
“Last year we were playing dead games with four matches to go so this is much better. It’s such a tough group with everyone beating each other and there could still be some surprises but it will be massive for us as a club if we could get through.”
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