England all-rounder leaves Essex to sign for Sussex

Sussex have pulled off a coup by signing all-rounder Ravi Bopara from Essex.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 12:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 1:39 pm
Ravi Bopara strikes out in Vitality Blast action for Essex Eagles, who he helped become champions in 2019 / Picture: Getty Images

The 34-year-old is one of the outstanding white-ball players of his generation. His 6,646 runs in 331 T20 appearances make him the format’s 19th highest run-scorer of all time, while there are only 28 players with more T20 wickets than his 221.

He has played in many of the biggest tournaments around the world, including the Indian Premier League and Big Bash League and for England in both the 50-over and T20 World Cups.

Bopara has played 38 T20Is and his 120 ODIs make him England’s 16th most capped player in the format. In all List A cricket, he has 9,845 runs at an average over 40 and a top score of 201 not out, as well as 248 wickets from 323 matches.

He also has a formidable record in first-class cricket, amassing 12,821 runs and 257 wickets from 221 matches, including 31 centuries. Three of those hundreds came in 13 Test appearances for England.

In English domestic cricket, Bopara was in the Essex teams that have won two of the past three Specsavers County Championships, this year’s Vitality Blast as well as one-day competitions in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

In the 2019 Blast, he had a batting average of 48.5 and a strike-rate of over 162. An unbeaten 36 from just 22 balls was central to Essex Eagles' victory over Worcestershire Rapids in the final. He also took 12 wickets at an economy rate of 7.45 and was named Essex’s T20 player of the year.

After completing his move to Sussex, Bopara said: “I want to thank Sussex for this opportunity. It is a great chance to play under a respected and acknowledged coach like Jason Gillespie and with a very strong and talented team of players, many of whom will no doubt go on to receive international honours.

Ravi Bopara in county championship action for champions Essex / Picture: Getty Images

“On a personal note I have a burning desire to achieve greater things in this wonderful game. I will now put a greater emphasis on T20 cricket. I am fitter and stronger than I have ever been and playing my best cricket.

“I want to emphasise that I am not giving up red-ball cricket but I will, for now, play less of it to find time in the calendar year to up-skill in T20 and take my game to a new level as I still have a drive to play international cricket. Here’s to the future and hopefully another decade of happy and successful times.”

Sussex head coach Gillespie added: “I’m really, really excited about having Ravi Bopara join us at Sussex. It’s a bit of a coup for us to be perfectly honest: what a wonderful player Ravi has been for England and Essex for a long, long time.

“His knowledge and experience are going to be invaluable in our dressing room. He’s a great lad and we’re very thankful that Ravi has decided to join us. Players and coaches alike are excited to work with him and learn from him.”