John Simpson appointed Sussex red-ball captain, Tymal Mills to lead in T20

Sussex have named John Simpson as their captain for the start of the 2024 County Championship, with Tymal Mills set to take charge of the T20 Blast side.
Both appointments are slightly provisional in nature, with Simpson inked in for the first seven games of the Championship season in order to get a feel for the demands of the job. And with the Blast set to coincide with the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA – and Mills potentially part of England’s plans – Paul Farbrace, Sussex’s head coach, conceded they might need to “reassess the situation”. Neither player has previous experience of captaincy.

Simpson, 35, joined Sussex from Middlesex over the winter and replaces India batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who is set to return as an overseas player for the first half of the Championship season.

“John is going to do the first seven games,” Farbrace said, “and the reason that we’ve gone with the first seven games only – and it’s as much his decision as it is ours – is he wants to make sure that he is absolutely the right person to be captain. He also wants to make sure that it allows him to be the player that he wants to be, both as a keeper and a batter.

“There’s a natural break after seven games in the Championship, so that fits really nicely.”

Mills, 31, recently signed a new contract until the end of the 2026 season and steps up after the departure of Ravi Bopara. “Ty worked extremely closely with Ravi last year, he’s full of experience,” Farbrace said.

“There is a chance that he will be selected to play for England, if he is, we will reassess that situation. For now Ty’s going to take on the T20 captaincy role.

“I think they’re two excellent choices, they’re two people that really want to do the job. They’re two people with a vast amount of experience and knowledge and they’ve also got a lot of respect within our club, within our dressing room, and people really want to play for them.”

Farbrace also suggested that both players “being around the club” during the off-season would help build relationships with the squad and coaches. “I didn’t join until the end of February last year so we had a short run-in to the start of the season, and perhaps it was a little bit ‘This is how we do things, let’s crack on with it’. Whereas now we’ve got a little bit more time, and we’ve had more time since the end of the season, to be more collaborative, more open, a lot more planning and involve a lot more people in discussions for the way forward.”

Farbrace added that a decision on whether Tom Haines would continue as captain in the One-Day Cup would be taken closer to the start of the season, with the player currently away on England Lions duty.

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