Sussex sign Kiwi star Cachopa

Sussex have announced the signing of former New Zealand Under-19 batsman Craig Cachopa on a two-year contract.

Cachopa earned a deal after impressing whilst on trial with the Sussex second XI for the past two months, breaking into the first team make his debut in the recent T20 Blast match against Kent.

The 22-year-old turned some heads in Sussex's last T20 game on Tuesday, making a quickfire 24 in the victory against Glamorgan.

Cachopa was born in South Africa but moved to New Zealand at the age of ten and went on to make 26 appearances for their under-19 side, including an appearance at the Under-19 World Cup in 2010.

However, he qualifies as a non-overseas player for Sussex by virtue of a Portuguese passport.

Cachopa averages over 50 in first-class cricket for Auckland, making 21 appearances and scoring nearly 1700 runs in the process, including a high score of 203.

Yet he chose to come to England at the start of the summer to play club cricket for Surrey Championship high-flyers Reigate Priory.

He said: \"I'm really happy to have signed here at such a historic club and this is a fantastic opportunity for me.

\"I played with Chris Nash and Luke Wright in New Zealand and when I came over to the UK to play club cricket they suggested I joined up with the second eleven.

\"That gave me the chance to get to know the club and I'm absolutely thrilled to be offered a contract.\"

Cachopa has hit centuries in both the Championship and 50-over Trophy format for Sussex's 2nd XI.

He is expected to make his third T20 appearance for the Sharks at Hampshire tonight and could even be in line for his Championship debut against Warwickshire at Horsham on Monday.

Robinson said: \"We're delighted to have Craig on board and we are excited to see how he progresses over the next two years.

\"We can't wait to see if he is able to transfer his form that he has shown for Auckland and our second team into first team runs for us.\"