Playing six days out of seven is not for the faint-hearted but Alex Carey can not wait to swap the white ball for the red and help kick-start Sussex’s Specsavers County Championship challenge.
The Australian will play as a specialist batsman when Sussex face Middlesex at the 1st Central County Ground on Sunday after completing Sussex Sharks’ back-to-back Vitality Blast fixtures against Surrey and Kent.
It’s a strenuous workload for the 27-year-old, who went straight into Sussex’s Blast campaign after helping Australia reach the World Cup semi-finals in his role as their one-day vice-captain. Not that he is complaining.
“It doesn’t bother me at all, to be honest I am really excited for the next couple of weeks,” said Carey, who will play only his 30th first-class match on Sunday. “I love that there are so many games in such a short space of time. That’s what really appeals, I just want to get out there and play.
“I’m absolutely loving my time with Sussex. The boys have really welcomed me closely into the group. I know (coach) Jason Gillespie from Adelaide Strikers of course and he is a fantastic guy - he keeps the mood of the group pretty level.”
Three successive defeats have seen Sussex tumble from third to eighth in the Division Two table and 29 points behind the top three promotion spots but as well as Carey the county will also have fast bowler Jared Warner available for the four remaining games in their Championship campaign after he joined from Yorkshire for the rest of the season.
Warner’s first loan spell was aborted after one game because of a side strain suffered against Glamorgan at the end of May.
Sussex suffered their first defeat of the Blast on Thursday night, by 26 runs away to Surrey, to blemish their eight-game unbeaten start to the tournament.
Carey’s focus in the Twenty20 competition is to ensure the Sharks maintain the form that has them on course for a quarter-final place as they look to go one better than last season when they were beaten finalists.
“The challenge is to keep the momentum going towards the back end of the tournament,” he said.
“We don’t want to limp into the quarter-finals. We want to keep the unbeaten run going for as long as we can.
“The boys are playing really well at the moment. We have had a couple of scrappy wins, but our bowlers are doing a really good job for us and that’s been so important to our success so far.”