(Photo: Getty Images)
By Dora Allday
CHRIS Jordan spent his winter all around the globe, but after the thrills of reaching the final of the Pakistan Super League he returns to Sussex looking to carry that success into the county season.
Jordan clocked air miles playing in Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia before a stint with Peshawar Zalmi, who narrowly missed the chance of retaining their PSL title – despite Jordan’s best efforts.
Peshawar fell just short in the final against Islamabad United in Karachi, but where some players were reluctant to take part in the knock-out stages in Pakistan for security reasons – the group phase was played in the United Arab Emirates – Jordan could not wait to get another taste of cricket in the country.
“Cricket was the winner, because another city in Pakistan got to witness cricket for the first time,” said the England all-rounder.
“You just think about putting on a good show, because they haven’t had cricket in so long.
“The fans were amazing, cheering everyone on from the first to the last.
“Obviously, the security and everything is very high, so I think everyone felt quite safe but once you get in the stadium and you hear the crowd and you see their passion for cricket you don’t really think about anything else.
“You just think about trying to entertain them, trying to put on a good show for them, because they haven’t had cricket in so long.”
Jordan was unquestionably the star man for Peshawar in the final, making 36 off just 26 deliveries batting at four as they made 148-9 batting first.
He followed that up by taking 2-22 and also producing a brilliant diving catch to remove Shadab Khan, but it was not enough as Islamabad claimed a three-wicket success.
“Going into that final the captain, Darren Sammy, and the coach had a gut feeling, so they asked me to bat up early,” Jordan recalled.
“I was a bit shocked, but equally it was an opportunity I was relishing and when we lost two wickets, they told me to go.
“To hold my own and end up top scorer in the innings was a brilliant achievement, and I then took that in to my bowling.
“It was a decent all-round performance but it was in vain because we couldn’t get over the line.
“Sometimes I would rather do worse and win a game than be amazing and lose, because it takes the shine off.”
Jordan is now back at Hove, where Jason Gillespie has taken on coaching duties over the off-season, and having previously worked together with the Adelaide Strikers, the 29-year-old is excited at the prospect of reuniting with Dizzy.
“He’s a very composed character who enjoys people taking ownership for their game and enjoys allowing people to gel, to express themselves,” he added.
“We have the ingredients, but it will be down to our drive as players to determine where we go.
“Dizzy can only put the plans in place – we have to execute them.
“Personally, I know I have skill, I know I have ability – I just need to trust in that.
“I want that to come out in the best way possible on a more consistent basis, with both bat and ball, to bring together that complete performance.”
At 29, Jordan is one of the more experienced members of the Sussex squad, but under the leadership of Gillespie he has tipped up-and-coming trio George Garton, Harry Finch and Tom Haines to impress this year.
He added: “They are three very good players and can play for a long time here.
“All they have to do is believe. They have ability, we’ve all seen it – if they didn’t have ability they wouldn’t be here.
“They need a way of expressing themselves and allowing those performances to come out in big moments.”