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Danny Briggs: Happy to be a record breaker – and to hear 'Freddie Mercury' sing

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I had no idea I was close to becoming the leading wicket-taker in domestic T20. It was Harry Finch that came up to me halfway through our batting innings against Gloucester and said, ‘Congrats!’.

He had seen the tweet from the club when I went past the mark, but I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. I’m very proud to have got the record and to have played in enough matches to get there.

It was good to get a little bit of love on Twitter and other places. It was something a bit different for me as I’m not really big on social media. And to go from having no idea to getting a fair bit of attention about the record was nice.

It was lovely to get a message from Yasir Arafat, who I went past with the total. I enjoyed playing with him towards the end of my time at Hants. He slotted into that team really well. It was nice to get messages like that; to know that people are watching and still taking a bit of notice!

You do remember getting big names out. That’s something that’s great about the format is that you get the opportunity to bowl at some of the best players in the world. But it’s performances rather than individual wickets that stick out for me over myT20 career.

The one that jumps out for me is the quarter-final against Durham in at the Ageas Bowl in 2011 when I was playing for Hampshire. They had a good team – guys like Ben Stokes and David Miller – and we bowled them out for under 100.

The way I look at it, getting a record like that is a reminder that I’m still going okay in Twenty20 and that I’m still in a place where I can contribute. Now I want to go even further, take a lot more wickets and help Sussex to win more matches.

We’ve got an exciting squad and we feel with the quality we’ve got that we should be getting through the group stages and taking anyone on in knock-out games in this year’s comeptition. We have a fairly experienced side.

Quite a few of the guys have played international cricket or in tournaments around the world, and we all learned a lot from getting to last year’s final.

We’ve had a good run in this year’s tournament and momentum is a big part of T20 cricket. If you get on a roll, you go into games with an extra bit of confidence.

Then you get an extra boost knowing that pretty much everyone is in some sort of form – everyone has stepped up with the bat or the ball. For those things to be happening at the same time is a big bonus.

On top of that, the crowds at Hove have been brilliant. That definitely makes a difference. When you get a full house behind you and then you play some good cricket, that’s a powerful thing. It makes it very tough for the opposition. Hopefully we can reward our supporters with a home quarter-final for them to come and watch.

It’s been brilliant to sing the team song so often in this year’s comp. We’ve had the addition of Jason Swift, the assistant coach, leading us into ‘Good Old Sussex by the Sea’ with his Freddie Mercury impersonation. It started on the bus back from Gloucestershire.

Swifty loves his Karaoke and he just piped up with his Freddie vocals and now it’s found its way into the team song. Our aim is to give him as many opportunities to perform as possible by winning as many games as possible.

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England fixtures cement The 1st Central County Ground’s position as home of women’s cricket

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The 1st Central County Ground, Hove has further cemented its position as the home of women’s cricket in England and Wales after being chosen to host two England internationals this summer.

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New England coach expects side to reach World T20 final

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Make no mistake – Lisa Keightley expects England to reach the final of the Women’s World T20 in Australia.

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New Sussex bowler wants to strike fear into opposition batsmen

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Stuart Meaker wants to help the Sussex attack terrify opposition batsmen – and win promotion to the top flight of the county championship.

The new recruit from Surrey, a former England international, is a sixth addition to the Sussex squad since the end of the 2019 as the county put together a squad they hope can do well in the county championship, one-day cup and Vitality Blast.

... and in county championship action for his old county / Picture: Getty

… and in county championship action for his old county / Picture: Getty

Meaker said: “Ideally, I’d like to get some wickets in the bank for myself but mostly it’s about the team being a success and I want to contribute in any way, shape or form on the field.

“It isn’t just about my wickets column necessarily, that’s a bonus but it’s about being a team player and helping in any situation that occurs.

“I want to push players forward and help them learn, that’s the success I’m looking for as well as getting some silverware.”

Meaker highlighted the strengths his new side have and believes his addition can prove a problem for opponents in the 2020 campaign.

He added: “Without doubt, if everyone is available for selection then we have a very pacy attack. It will be nice charging down the field seeing the fear in the batsman as we hit him with a bit of a barrage. I see the moves the club are making to get into division one and I think it’s an exciting year to be a part of this side and gain promotion at the end of it.”

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Sussex after his release from Surrey and he joins another two former Surrey men, Chris Jordan and Laurie Evans, at Hove.

Meaker can’t wait to get started and join up with the squad. “I know the lads through playing against them over the years and playing with some too and we all have the same mind sets. “They’re all a good bunch and I can’t wait to be a part of this team.”

Meaker started his career with Surrey in 2008 and made his first class debut against Loughborough.

In September 2011 he was called into the England squad for their one-day series in India.

Meaker took 348 wickets in 167 appearances for Surrey and has four England appearances to his name, two ODIs and two IT20s in 2011 and 2012. He played 17 times for England Lions across all formats, taking 28 wickets.

Despite spending his whole career to date with Surrey, Meaker is excited to join an ambitious club in Sussex.

“I’ve obviously been at Surrey since I was young so this is different, but it’s exciting and new and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve always admired Sussex from afar, they punch above their weight and have a really strong work ethic.”

Opportunities have been limited as of late for Meaker at Surrey, which is part of the reason for joining Sussex. But he hopes he can now get back to playing regularly and at his best.

“It has been difficult the past couple of years being left out the squad through things such as injuries which means I’ve lacked playing time, but they (Surrey) have a lot of good players so it’s hard to break back into that kind of team.

“It was a natural move for me to come to Sussex and I’ve come here to not sit on the sidelines but to play and I see real opportunity to contribute not only with bowling but batting too.”

Stuart Meaker is Sussex’s sixth winter addition to the squad.

Other signings are:

* Ravi Bopara, who has ended his 18-year spell with T20 and county champions Essex as he looks to add to his career achievements.

* Australian batsman Travis Head, who might have signed for Sussex a year earlier only for the move to be dealyed by an Ashes call-up

also put pen to paper for Sussex, joining them for the upcoming 2020 season.

* Rashid Khan, the world star and T20 specialist from Afghanistan, whose return for a hird Vitality Blast campaign in 2020 was announced in November.

* Former Kent right-arm seamer Mitch Claydon, who brings a wealth of county experience after seven years at Canterbury.

* Youngster Tom Clark, who has signed his professional contract with Sussex after making his first-class debut for his boyhood club in September.

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