Rufey: It’s marvellous to have Sussex here

Two Sussex matches will take place at Arundel Castle next year
Two Sussex matches will take place at Arundel Castle next year

FRIENDS of Arundel Castle Cricket Club & Cricket Foundation executive secretary James Rufey admitted his delight after Sussex announced they would be returning once again in 2016.

With next season’s fixtures coming out last month, Arundel was named as Sussex’s one-and-only outground with two scheduled matches for their annual Festival of Cricket.

Arundel will host Sussex’s County Championship Division 2 clash with Northamptonshire from June 22-25, while Gloucestershire visit for a T20 Blast clash on June 26.

The annual Festival of Cricket at Arundel will be Sussex’s only action away from Hove this campaign after Horsham was cut from next season’s schedule as Sussex say the festival is unviable without third party support.

Rufey is delighted that county cricket will once again take place at Arundel next year. He said: “It’s marvellous to have Sussex here again next season.

“Having First-class cricket is an important piece in our overall jigsaw in providing one of the most outstanding cricketing and educational programmes in the world.

“Indeed, Gloucestershire are one of my former employers and I have a few friends still there, so it will be nice to welcome them to Arundel.”

Last year’s festival proved to be a huge success for Arundel and 8,000 attended Sussex’s T20 Blast clash with Surrey.

That saw the ground at near capacity and Rufey is hoping for similar numbers again next year.

He said: “Last year, we had great numbers for the T20 game against Surrey.

“They had Kevin Pietersen in their side that day and are local to us – so that helped boost the attendance.

“But we will be hoping to once again have good attendances over the course of the festival next year. It is a Wednesday start and so we hope to attract many businesses into this wonderful ground.”

Sussex begin the 2016 County Championship season away to Northamptonshire on April 10.

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