Chris Nash says it will be ‘amazing’ to play at Horsham again with crowds set for an action-packed day of T20 action as part of his testimonial next week.
The Sussex batsman and former Tanbridge House School pupil will return to Cricketfield Road with his county team-mates as part of his celebrations of ten years at Hove.
The day will see Nash’s hometown club host a spectacular day of cricket and off-field entertainment with two T20 matches taking place on Wednesday - with entry for spectators completely free.
A high-quality showing can be expected as Sussex will be using the games as a warm-up to their T20 Blast campaign which starts against Glamorgan on July 9.
They will be taking on sides of mixed overseas players from the Sussex and Surrey leagues including New Zealand Test match opening bat Jeet Raval and South African fast bowler Craig Alexander, as well as Horsham’s Michael Munday and Mika Ekstrom.
Last year was only the second time in 34 years that Sussex did not play in the town with the cancellation of the Horsham Festival of Cricket, but Nash, who started playing at the club at the age of seven, is delighted to be coming home.
He said: “It will be amazing to get back there. I don’t get the chance very often to play at Horsham having not been around on Saturdays for the past ten years or so. When Sussex chose not to play there it hurt a lot and it will be good for me to get back there.
“It’s our T20 campaign warm-up week, so it will act as practice for that, before we have a four-day game after. Most of these type of games are quite relaxing, but once we became aware of the dates when the fixtures were out, it was a good opportunity for practice games for the T20s.
“It all promises to be a really good day. We have 200 people booked in the tent with a few more spaces left.
“Roger Dakin will be hosting in there and there will be guest speakers, the cake stall, barbecue and band on afterwards. The facilities are great at Horsham and it’ll be lovely to have as many people down as possible to support the day and some great cricket.”
There will also be a big corporate focus on the day with aviation and travel firm Skytrail the main sponsor, backed by director Neil Conley, offering plenty of hospitality and attraction for businesses.
Lack of support from the town was cited as a reason for Sussex not returning to Horsham for the annual festival and Nash is hoping that will change and boost hopes of a permanent return.
The 33-year-old has so far played well over 400 games for the county, scoring 17,000 runs including 25 centuries and taking almost 200 wickets.
He added: “It’ll be great to get people out watching and we have all the Sussex guys coming down; Rob Andrew and the commercial department, so it’s up to us at Horsham to put on a good show.
“Hopefully, people will turn up and show their support and then, hopefully, it will show it is a good fit to come back to again each year.
“We went to Eastbourne and saw how well they did it, so it would be nice to get cricket back to Horsham again.”
Nash has opted to support local charities Rockinghorse and the Sussex Cricket Foundation during his year and has already had a successful opening lunch at The Grand Hotel and South African dinner when the national side visited Hove last month.
All-day parking will be available on the ground at a charge of £5 and Horsham will be providing refreshments including a bar, hot food and the famous Horsham Ladies’ Tea Tent.
During the lunch interval 40 children from Tanbridge House School will be playing on the main ground and it is hoped that as many family and friends as possible will come to support them.
The first T20 match starts at Horsham at 11am with the second expected to begin a 4pm, entry is free for spectators while places for lunch in the tent are limited.
For more information, visit: www.chrisnash2017.co.uk or email info@ chrisnash2017.co.uk