Sussex hit by surprise departure of pace bowler

Reece Topley takes a Blast wicket against Glamorgan for Sussex / Picture: Getty Images
Reece Topley takes a Blast wicket against Glamorgan for Sussex / Picture: Getty Images

Reece Topley will leave Sussex after rejecting a long-term contract offer from the club.

As a free agent and following back surgery, the 25-year-old was helped back to fitness by Sussex’s medical and coaching staff earlier this year before joining the county for the remainder of the 2019 season in July.

Despite a subsequent successful return to first-team action that saw the left-arm seamer play his first T20 Blast and Championship matches since the 2017 season, Topley has decided that his future lies elsewhere.

A Sussex statement said: "Sussex Cricket is disappointed not to have been able to convince Reece to resign for Sussex. Nevertheless, the club would like to thank him for his contributions to the team during the season and to wish him well at his new club."

The departure of the former Hampshire and Essex left-arm bowler is a surprise less than three months after he joined for the rest of the 2019 season.

Topley said at the time of his switch to Hove: “I’ve had to take a step back with my game for a while, so to be back in a place where I can contribute for Sussex is really exciting. I’m looking forward not only to be playing again, but to being back in the dressing room and working with the rest of the squad and the coaches here at the club.

“It’s been a long time out rehabbing, so if I can make it through to the end of the season fit and having contributed to the team and then work hard during the off-season so I am at my best for the start of next summer, I’ll be thrilled. I’m so grateful to Sussex for the use of all the facilities and personnel over the last few months. Everyone here has given me 100% effort and the ‘can do’ attitude around the place has been incredible and has surpassed any expectations I had.”