Ed Joyce: Sussex coach Robinson sweats on captain's fitness

Ed Joyce
Joyce's batting has flourished since he was appointed Sussex captain midway through the 2012 campaign

Sussex cricket manager Mark Robinson hopes captain Ed Joyce returns unscathed from the World Cup.

Ireland international Joyce, 36, was Sussex's leading scorer in the 2014 County Championship, with 1,398 runs.

"Ed has got to manage his hip and is going into a high-intensity World Cup. I'll be happy when he is back home and safe," Robinson told BBC Sussex.

"He is a bit of a treasured possession at the moment. He is a big player for us and an outstanding captain."

Joyce was named in Ireland's squad on Monday and is involved in their preparations for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, which include a tri-series in Dubai against Afghanistan and Scotland.

Ireland begin their World Cup pool matches against West Indies in Nelson on 16 February and complete them against Pakistan on 15 March.

The quarter-finals follow between 18 and 21 March, with the semi-finals on 24 and 25 March, and final on 29 March.

Sussex begin the 2015 County Championship campaign on Sunday, 12 April away to Hampshire.

Ireland's Cricket World Cup Pool B fixtures
DateOpponentVenue
Monday, 16 FebruaryWest IndiesNelson (NZ)
Wednesday, 25 FebruaryUnited Arab EmiratesBrisbane (Aus)
Tuesday, 3 MarchSouth AfricaCanberra (Aus)
Saturday, 7 MarchZimbabweHobart (Aus)
Tuesday, 10 MarchIndiaHamilton (NZ)
Sunday, 15 MarchPakistanAdelaide (Aus)

Meanwhile Robinson, who is currently coaching the England Lions in South Africa, is hopeful Sussex can challenge in all three formats of the game in 2015.

The Hove side finished third in the County Championship table in 2014, but suffered group-stage exits in both limited overs competitions.

"We feel we have a squad that can compete and we want to win a trophy," he said.

"Every year we think we can and in the last couple of years we have come up short. We will be planning, thinking and plotting to try and get over the line this time."

He added: "In the last two years in four-day cricket we have flirted with it. We know we are not a million miles away - it is just getting that consistency.

"The goal is to sustain a challenge for longer in the four-day game and if you can take it into the last couple of rounds, you never know.

"Hopefully there is a bit more depth in our squad this year to help that."

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