Michael Burgess: Warwickshire sign Sussex wicketkeeper-batsman on two-year deal

Epsom-born Michael Burgess made his Sussex debut in 2017
Epsom-born Michael Burgess made his Sussex debut in 2017

Wicketkeeper-batsman Michael Burgess has joined Warwickshire from Sussex, initially on loan until the end of the season but then on a two-year contract.

Burgess will play for the Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast, and possibly as a batsman only in four-day cricket, but Sussex have an option to recall him for County Championship matches.

"It's a huge opportunity for me to become a Bear," said Burgess, 24.

He has scored two first-class centuries since making his Sussex debut in 2017.

Burgess has played twice at Edgbaston before, both at the start and the end of the 2018 season.

He went just two short of his 50 in the opening Championship game when he became Olly Stone's sixth wicket.

He was then Sussex's keeper throughout their T20 Blast campaign which ended with victory over Somerset in the semi but then defeat in the final at Edgbaston by Worcestershire.

The first signing made by Paul Farbrace since succeeding England-bound Ashley Giles as Warwickshire sport director, Burgess will be viewed as a long-term successor to 36-year-old Tim Ambrose, the Bears' former England keeper, who is in his 14th season at Edgbaston since signing in 2006, also from Sussex.

"We still have one of the best wicketkeepers in the country in Tim Ambrose," said Farbrace. "But we believe Michael can make an immediate impact in the white-ball game.

"In addition to being an excellent, young gloveman, Michael is a hard-hitting batsman who has experienced domestic cricket on the biggest stage, having played for Sussex in last year's T20 Blast Finals."

The loan arrangement does not begin until 1 June, so Burgess cannot play in next week's home game against reigning county champions Surrey (27-30 May), but might be considered for the following week's visit of Nottinghamshire (3-7 June).

If the Bears were to play Sussex in the knock-out stages of this year's T20 Blast, Burgess would be ineligible to play.