Travis Head signs for Sussex to further Strikers link

Sussex have signed Australia’s Travis Head as their overseas player for the 2020 season, with Jason Gillespie again using his role as Adelaide Strikers coach to aid recruitment.

Gillespie is both teams’ head coach, and Head will join Alex Carey, Rashid Khan, and Chris Jordan in playing for both clubs in recent years.

Head, who scored 191 in four Ashes Tests this summer before being left out at The Oval, will be available to play in all formats. He had been scheduled to sign for the county this season, but the deal fell through after he was named in the Ashes squad, and Sussex recruited Carey instead.

“To have a high-quality international batsman like Travis on our staff in 2020 is very, very exciting,” said Gillespie.

“We wanted a top four batsman to improve our team and Travis will do that. He’s shown his class in his international career so far, he brings some useful offspin and he will offer good leadership support to our captains from his time leading South Australia and the Strikers.

“We also felt it was important to sign an overseas batsman that would be able to join us for most of the season and give us some continuity.

“I’ve known Trav for a number of years. We have a really good relationship and after we decided here at Sussex that an overseas batsman would complement our squad next year I just knew that Travis would be ideal.”

“I was disappointed not to have been able to take up my contract this summer so was thrilled that Jason and Keith [Greenfield, the club director of cricket] were keen to lock me away for the 2020 season,” said Head. “I can’t wait.”

Head is unlikely to be the last Australian to sign a county deal for next season. The Future Tours Programme has thrown up a large gap between Australia’s Test matches – from February to November – and their white-ball commitments are equally sparse.

Peter Siddle (Essex) and Cameron Bancroft (Durham) already hold contracts for 2020, while it is understood that multiple counties, including Hampshire and Yorkshire, have enquired about the availability of Nathan Lyon.