Rayner short on game time following Middlesex return

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Ollie Rayner’s misfortune continued this week for Sussex as the 25-year-old was once again left disappointed about his lack of action.

Having initially been named in the Sussex squad for their County Championship match against Yorkshire, overnight rain made the wicket damp and therefore unsuitable for Rayner’s off-spinning style.

It was a similar story to that of two weeks ago, where Rayner was also left out of the Sussex side due to the condition of the wicket, but the England youth international is refusing to get down heartened.

He said, “I’m happy to bide my time and wait for my chance. While I’d love to be playing, just like every cricketer, at the moment I’m having to wait in the wings.

“The boys selected have been doing really well, we’ve had some good wins recently and if we keep on winning then I can’t really complain if I’m not in the side.

“In the meantime I’ve set my sights on the Twenty20 team. I’ve always enjoyed that kind of format and hopefully I can make a big impact for Sussex in that particular team.

“I’m still happy to be back though. I’m enjoying my time here and it’s just a case getting my head down, keeping my chin up and grabbing any opportunity that comes my way.”

Rayner is certainly doing well whenever the chance presents itself, as he took two wickets and scored 40 runs for a Sussex XI against Oxford MCCU last week, and will be hoping to replicate this kind of form when he’s given his chance in the first team.

Ben Brown, who scored a century in the same match against Oxford MCCU, was also overlooked for the game against Yorkshire.

The more experienced Andrew Hodd was preferred behind the wickets for Sussex and, with an absence of any Second 11 action, Brown will make his second appearance of the season for Eastbourne at the weekend.

Young Callum Jackson was back in Eastbourne colours last weekend but will have been disappointed with his contribution, as he was bowled for a three-ball duck in his team’s thrashing at the hands of Roffey.

Former Eastbourne captain Tom Smith had an uneventful week as he was left out of the Middlesex Second 11 team due to play Kent this week, and is widely expected to play in his side’s first Twenty20 match against Glamorgan Dragons tonight.

Smith ended up being the county’s leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket last year, and will be hoping to rediscover that sort of form in 2011.