Rayner forced to sit out as rain scuppers return

Ollie Rayner was left disappointed as his return to Sussex ended up being a non-starter.

Having been recalled from his productive loan spell at Middlesex, Rayner was widely expected to be given the chance to impress in his home county’s County Championship match against Somerset that got under way yesterday.

However, overnight rain scuppered this plan as Rayner’s spin-bowling was deemed to be ineffective on the wet surface, with Sussex instead going with three seamers.

It was a case of bad luck for Rayner, who is now looking forward to reminding the Sussex coaches of what he can do.

He said, “I was brought back from Middlesex specifically with this game in mind, and it was all shaping up to be a great game for me to make my comeback in.

“However, a damp pitch definitely doesn’t suit my style of bowling, and the guys even chose to play on the new wicket, so it seemed all the elements were stacking up against me.

“It’s been so dry this spring, so for it to rain on the night before this particular match is really unbelievable!

“It’s still nice to be home though. Playing at Lord’s every week was great, but nowhere really compares to your home county.

“I’ve slotted straight back into the dressing room already and it doesn’t even feel like I’ve been away.

“The goal now is to play as much cricket as I can. That was the whole point of going to Middlesex, and I did well in my time up there so I’m hoping to carry on in the same vein.

“The coaches here know what I can do, I feel that I’m an established player here and I want progress in all forms of the game as much as I can.”

Ben Brown also didn’t make the Sussex first XI this week.

Having failed to impress in two outings for Sussex’s second string, Brown will feature for Eastbourne this week in the team’s visit to Chichester.

Callum Jackson also had a disappointing week in Sussex colours, as he could only score one run when he opened the batting for a Sussex Development XI in a Sussex Premier League game against Chichester Priory Park.

There was better news for Tom Smith though, who was named in the Middlesex side to play in their County Championship match against Glamorgan at Lord’s on Thursday.

Last week Smith scored an unbeaten 67 for the second XI in their home match against Somerset, but disappointed on his initial recall to first team action after being bowled out for a golden duck against Sussex.