Salisbury had been in charge of Sussex’s Championship and 50-over team since November 2020, with Kirtley taking over the T20 lineup in the same time frame following the departure of their predecessor Jason Gillespie.
Carson, who debuted as a teenager in the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020, was Sussex’s leading wicket taker in both that competition and the 2021 County Championship. However, having missed the start of the 2022 season following knee surgery, all three are appearances in the current season in the last two weeks since Salisbury left.
That includes the on-going game against Glamorgan at Hove, but in a conversation with the BBC at the end of the second day of match Kirtley was hesitant about conditions at the club.
“We cannot comment further on that. There is a legal process to follow,” Kirtley said. “But it’s a clear distraction for the boys.
“We talk a lot about distraction,” he added. “This is a time of year when contracts are negotiated, and for this young side it’s very important that they understand that this is part of the game, and their ability to rise above those situations is a real skill.”
The prospect of losing Carson – a highly regarded offspinner who was born in Northern Ireland but qualified for England – comes in the wake of several high-profile departures from Hove in recent seasons, most recently the England duo of Chris Jordan and Phil Salt , but ahead of them were Reece Topley, Luke Wells, Danny Briggs, Laurie Evans, Michael Burgess, and Harry Finch.
It’s a talent drain that has come in for scathing criticism from former Sussex and England wicket-keeper Matt Prior, who renewed his assault on the club hierarchy – in particular the CEO Rob Andrew and the director of cricket, Keith Greenfield – in a series of Tweets Tuesday evening.
“Another one of the @SussexCCC Chairman, Board of Directors, Cricket Committee, CEO and Performance Director will want to disappear very soon,” Prior wrote. “I’m not sure if that will happen this time. The circle around these people who have done so much to destroy our club is getting smaller and smaller.”