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Mushtaq the key - Adams

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Mushtaq Ahmed

Mushtaq Ahmed claimed 90 LV County Championship wickets for Sussex during last season

Sussex captain Chris Adams expects spinner Mushtaq Ahmed to play a crucial role in the county’s bid for honours this season.

Mushtaq has been instrumental in securing back-to-back LV County Championship titles for the south coast side.

The former Pakistan leg-spinner took 90 wickets at an average of 25.66 in the Championship last summer and will no doubt be intent on capturing 100 scalps this season as he did in 2003 and 2006.

“His return in the Championship in the last five seasons has been simply incredible,” Adams said.

“Most cricketers get through a career and don’t get as many wickets as he has got so it is unbelievable.

“Mushy’s contribution on the field has been immense but his contribution off it is huge as well.

“He’s a great ambassador for the club and is hugely respected within the camp.

“But I would like to think it is not just a one-man show and he relies just as much on the rest of the team.

“I think he gets as much out of us as we do out of him.”

Chris Adams

Chris Adams is expecting a fight for the Championship

Speaking at the ECB launch of the new county season Adams also admitted this summer could be one of the most competitive and open in recent seasons.

Sussex are seeking to add a fourth County Championship title in six years but Adams is prepared for a tough ride in all forms of the game.

“Any number of teams can win any of the competitions on offer,” he added.

“It is really difficult to predict who is going to win what this time round, and hence why I’m not going to even try to do so - it really is that close.

“There will be a lot of teams looking at all the competitions and thinking ‘this could be our year’.

“You only have to look at the likes of Somerset, who were excellent under Justin Langer to win promotion in the Championship Division Two last year, to know that a number of teams are in with a shout in the Championship in particular.

“I look round the counties and I see once again that Lancashire look very strong in the longer and shorter formats.

“Surrey played the last two months of the season to finish very strongly and are a very dangerous side when they hit form.

“Durham are likely to be boosted by Steve Harmison back in their side for a while so they could be even stronger after having a tremendous campaign last year.

“It could be one of the most exciting and open summers for years.

“To say who is going to win the one-day trophies and the Twenty20 is even more difficult.”

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