Sussex found themselves in turmoil yesterday when the talented all-rounder Danny Law became the third high-profile player to leave the Hove club.
Law, 21, who has joined Essex on a three-year contract, follows the leg-spinner Ian Salisbury, who has signed for Surrey, and the sacked Ed Giddins, now with Warwickshire.
And the exodus may not be over as their former captain Alan Wells has formally requested permission to speak to other counties and the batsman Martin Speight is considering a move to Durham.
At the end of last season, Law was offered a new three-year deal and his move to Chelmsford follows a flight to Melbourne by the Sussex second XI coach and Law's former mentor Chris Waller in an attempt to talk him round.
Law had been with the club since he was 13 and last season enjoyed his best summer, scoring 609 runs in the Championship and taking 44 wickets.
Jason Gallian was yesterday given the all-clear to stay on England A's tour of Australia after consulting the same specialist who treated Shane Warne's finger injury.
The Lancashire batsman was hit on the index finger of his right hand batting during the tourists' seven-wicket victory over the Australian Academy.
He was taken to a doctor yesterday in Melbourne after the 14-man party flew there to prepare for Friday's match with the state side Victoria at the Optus Oval. His manager, David Graveney, said: "It is just a question of getting over the pain he is suffering at present."
Gallian missed the two victories over South Australia in Adelaide with another hand injury he collected during the tour's opening game and is almost certain to miss the Victoria match.Reuse content