Sussex's new Aussie star wants Hove to be home for a long time
Sometimes, when a county signs an overseas cricket star, their stay can be a blink-and-you-miss-it affair.
But Travis Head has indicated he is hoping for a long-term love affair with Sussex.
The 27-year-old Australian international has arrived in Sussex for a season in which he hopes to play in all three formats. And when you listen to the South Australia an Adelaide Strikers big hitter talking, it’s clear he’s thinking beyond that too.
“I’m here to play as much cricket as I can,” he said before making his debut in the county championship loss to Northamptonshire last week – a year after he was first lined up to arrive at Hove.
“I missed out last year and I was desperately keen to come over," he told us.
“I’m here to play cricket, win games for Sussex and hopefully create a culture where we can have success. They’re keen for that and I am too.
“I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time here in the years to come and hopefully I can settle down in the team and have some real success. Right now, I’m ready to go and play all season.”
Down under, Head gets more time between matches than he can expect in the frenetic English domestic summer. And he couldn’t be happier about that.
After all, the more he’s playing, the more chances he’ll have to force his way back into the Australian side ahead of this winter’s Ashes.
He said: “I love playing and competing and I think that’s what I love the most about coming over here. You play so much cricket, there’s so many opportunities to win games so I’m buzzing to be over here, and I can’t wait to start.”
As soon as Head heard of the chance to join Sussex, he was keen. “Brighton’s a great place. Me and my partner were here for the Ashes and travelled here for the [Australia] A tour and she loved it. I’ve got a good connection with Salty and Rash who’ve played here and I’ve played against CJ and Jof so I know a lot of familiar faces. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, and I think this decision is a really good one because we’ve got an exciting young team with some exciting players and I’m looking forward to contributing to that and playing and winning a lot of games of cricket this summer.”
Head was the second top run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield with South Australia, and there are high hopes he will score plenty of runs for Sussex, even if he didn’t make double figures on debut at Northants.
“The season was personally my best and it was consistent, and as a cricketer and as a batter, that’s what I want to be,” he said. “I want to be as consistent as possible and that’s the season I was able to have in Australia.
“I made a couple of changes to my technique after the Test matches and it’s always nice when it works, and I got some runs.
“The challenge now is to give myself the best chance and go out nice and relaxed and play the way I want to play.
“It’s going to be a challenge. There’s not much time between games to work on your craft or have long training sessions. In Australia, we get six or seven day breaks; here, we get two or three so it’s different challenges and I’m looking forward to learning how guys operate in that situation.
“I’ve had a couple of county stints in the past (with Worcestershire and Yorkhire) and an Ashes series so I’ll lean back on that and the experience we’ve got in the team so I can hit the ground running.
“I’m always looking to develop and even though I’m not captain of this team, hopefully I can bring a lot of leadership. I watch other leaders so this is another opportunity to work with guys, learn and take home as much as I can.”
“We’re going through a transition at home as well with a lot of young guys in the squad so to be involved in this environment where something similar is happening is exciting. Under Browny, hopefully I can learn a lot. I’m looking forward to that relationship and seeing how different guys operate, things I can take back home and things I can learn personally. I’m very excited about what this season holds.”