Finals day defeat motivates Wright
After just missing out on the summer’s first piece of silverware, Luke Wright is even more determined to lead Sussex past Hampshire tomorrow to reward their season with a spot in the Clydesdale Bank 40 final at Lord’s.
This time last week the Sharks headed into Friends Life t20 finals day riding high in the LV= County Championship Division One table, in with a CB40 semi-final shot and dreaming of a domestic treble. However, their hopes were soon dashed when they exited at the hands of Yorkshire in the first semi-final at Cardiff.
That disappointing end to the t20 campaign, which had promised so much for a side that had enthralled in the group stages, might have derailed Sussex in their crucial CB40 group decider with Kent the following day, but Wright and Co had other ideas.
“We were desperate to do well. We all felt like we owed ourselves and our supporters probably even more because it was such a disappointing performance on Saturday,” Wright told ecb.co.uk
The 27-year-old was not about to end his one-day domestic season with a whimper and he showed just why England’s selectors opted to name him in their 15-man World T20 squad with an unbeaten 101 to send the Sharks through.
“We were looking to bounce back after a disappointing finals day,” revealed Wright.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice after the great cricket we played through the Twenty20, so it was important for us all to bounce back, keep our season on track and not let it fizzle out really. I think by doing that it’s obviously given us a big boost.”
While some players might find fighting for glory on all three fronts a weary experience, Wright admits the prospect of winning titles inspires Sussex to reach greater heights.
He adds: “I think that’s the great thing about our season this year - even going into Twenty20 finals day we had all three competitions still to play for and there are not many sides that are still in that position come this part of the season.
“It’s a massive game tomorrow and we’re desperate to get to that Lord’s final where every player wants to be.
“All teams have got tired bodies at this time of the season; it’s sort of been a long season even with the amount of rain. But when there’s something on it, it does just lift you a lot more.”
Wright was absent through injury when his county crashed out at this hurdle last year to eventual winners Surrey and, after Saturday’s semi-final heartache, Sussex will be even more determined to ensure they avoid an unwanted treble.
“That’s the great thing about Sussex - we’re always challenging on most fronts,” Wright concedes.
“It would be disappointing if we didn’t come away with a trophy this year because we’ve played such good cricket I feel like we deserve to get one, but that doesn’t mean we are going to get one.”
After their finals day exit, Sussex were served a harsh reminder that the group stages count for very little when it comes down to the business end of the season. This time around it is a case of once bitten, twice shy for the Sharks.