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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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Volunteers recognised at annual awards at Sussex Cricket

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All the winners

At the largest event in the awards’ history, 200 of the hardest working volunteers in the recreational game from across Sussex assembled for the NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) ceremony at the 1st Central County Ground on Friday.

Each year, the Sussex Cricket Foundation host those who have been nominated by their fellow volunteers for making a huge contribution to the development of cricket in their area. Six nationally recognised awards were handed out during the evening’s proceedings, in addition to two Sussex awards for ‘All Stars Cricket Activator of the Year’ & ‘Groundsman of the Year’. Pictured are the winners below

Kaleigh Pavitt (Hailsham CC & East Dean & Friston CC) - Young Volunteer of the Year

Kaleigh Pavitt (Hailsham CC & East Dean & Friston CC) – Young Volunteer of the Year

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Greg Denton (Sussex Cricket deputy head groundsman) (l) & Ian Paine (Eastergate CC)

Greg Denton (Sussex Cricket deputy head groundsman) (l) & Ian Paine (Eastergate CC)

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Kieran Baker (West Wittering CC) Young Volunteer of the Year 14-18 years old

Kieran Baker (West Wittering CC) Young Volunteer of the Year 14-18 years old

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Ollie Smith (Sussex Cricket All Stars Cricket coordinator) (left) & All Stars Activator of the Year Henry Branson (East Dean & Friston CC)

Ollie Smith (Sussex Cricket All Stars Cricket coordinator) (left) & All Stars Activator of the Year Henry Branson (East Dean & Friston CC)

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Sussex turned down in bid to use Jofra Archer as promotion campaign comes to boil

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Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie praised his players for a win at Bristol that’s got them back in the hunt for county championship promotion – then revealed he had been turned down in a bid to get Jofra Archer released by England after the Ashes ends.

Gillespie said Sussex would go into the final two games – starting away to Derbyshire on Monday – happy to rely on their existing squad and not bringing in any new overseas men as some counties were doing.

But they won’t be able to use Archer, who has had a hectic summer with England and who starred at The Oval on Friday taking 6-62 as England bowled out Australia.

Talking about the division two promotion race, Gillespie said: “We are aware of the situation – if we win our last three games, then we have a great chance of getting to Division One. We’ve had an up and down season, but are coming good at the right time.

“I think our defeat against Durham was a turning point. Being bowled out for less than 100 was unacceptable and we’ve scored a lot more runs since then.

“Scoring runs on the pitches at Bristol is never easy and I was pleased with the way the guys applied themselves, particularly in the first innings. Winning in Bristol is hard to do and we have to be pleased with this result.

“I thought the bowlers were really disciplined as a group and that is something we need to take into the next game. It made a change for us not to rely on Ollie Robinson alone to take the wickets.”

Gillespie added: “I’ve asked Trevor Bayliss if we can have Jofra Archer back for the last game, but the answer was no. That’s fair enough, it was what I expected. We had a bit of a joke about it one the phone. We’ve decided not to bring in another overseas players for the last few games, like some of the other counties have done. We’ll go with what we’ve got.”

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Inaugural Sussex Slam to include historic cup competitions

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The Sussex Slam is delighted to confirm that both the historic Mirfield and Gullick Cups will be a key part of the competition.

Each Slam region will split into knockout stages after the initial group stages to crown both championship and plate winners who will go onto the Countywide finals’ day to compete against their equivalents from other regions.

The Sussex Slam has confirmed that the region that includes the Horsham district area will compete for the Mirfield Cup at the championship level and the Gullick Cup will see its winners enter that regions Plate knockout phase.

Sussex Slam competition manager Matt Camp said: “There is a significant amount of cricketing history across Sussex and it is imperative that The Slam embraces that but at the same time builds upon it for the sake of our game’s future.

“As such I am delighted that we are able to work with Chris Shambrook (Gullick Cup competition manager) to both resurrect the Mirfield Cup and provide some of the many benefits of The Slam to the successful Gullick Cup.”

The Sussex Slam is a midweek T20 cricket competition starting in summer 2020 and follows on from a successful launch in Surrey in 2018.

READ MORE Sussex on the brink of putting themselves back in the promotion race | Sussex Cricket League’s top runscorers and wicket takers in the Premier and Division 2 | Davies demands more from Roffey after second consecutive T20 Cup final defeat

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