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Ed Joyce delighted to have Matt Prior and Monty Panesar available for Sussex

Joyce confident of result

Ed Joyce: Sussex captain delighted to have Matt Prior and Monty Panesar at his disposal

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Sussex skipper Ed Joyce admits it will be a major boost to have England duo Matt Prior and Monty Panesar in their ranks for this week's County Championship Division One clash with Surrey.

The south coast outfit made a hugely encouraging start to the new campaign as they beat Yorkshire by an innings in their opening fixture earlier in the month.

They will look to make it two from two at The Oval and Joyce is delighted to be able to call on the services of two men who could play major roles for England later in a busy summer of cricket.

"It's absolutely brilliant when those guys are about," Joyce told Sky Sports News.

"Obviously Monty's played a lot for us over the last few years because Graeme Swann's been number one for England, but there's a big chance he might be number one this summer depending on Swann's injury.

"He's been magnificent for us over the last few years, he's a huge player for us and obviously the Oval can turn so he could be a big player this week.

Sussex boy

"It's great to have Matt around also, he's played some match-winning innings for us in the last few years.

"I drove up with Matt, he loves coming back to play for Sussex, he's a Sussex boy and he really cares about how the team does. He's the first person to text you if you win a game and hopefully he gets a few runs this week."

A former England limited-overs international himself, Joyce took over the Sussex captaincy this term from Michael Yardy and admits he was a little apprehensive about the task.

However, the thumping win over Yorkshire provided the 34-year-old with the ideal start to his reign.

"I was a little bit worried taking over the captaincy," he continued. "I've never done it before and as we've had a huge period of success at Sussex over the last decade, you're worried that you're going to be the captain where things go wrong.

"So it was nice to have a week like we did against Yorkshire where we I got a few runs and we got a win under our belts."

Who will win Division One in the LV= County Championship?

  • Derbyshire
  • Durham
  • Middlesex
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Somerset
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Warwickshire
  • Yorkshire