Since the last instalment of Surrey Players Abroad, there has been a lot going on in the cricket world, with England going down to Pakistan in the test series and the razzmatazz of the IPL auction earlier this month. There have been 13 Surrey players away, either playing First Class, T20 or One Day cricket and here is how they’re getting on.
After his match winning innings in the first tour match for England in Dubai, Steven Davies has been a squad player ever since. At the beginning of the series, it was felt that this would happen but with the way the series carried out, it was felt by some that he could have played, perhaps as a specialist batsman, due to the poor form of Bell, Morgan and co. He has once again missed out on both of the limited overs squads and has like last year, he has gone virtually the whole winter without proper cricket. This could have a negative effect on his start to the season, as last year it took him a few months to really find his form from the previous year.
Zander de Bruyn
After being frozen out of the picture at the Highveld Lions since November, Zander de Bruyn finally returned to first class cricket on January 26th, scoring 92 in his first innings and claiming 4 wickets. In his next game, he hit 42 and went wicketless in a draw against Dolphins. However, he was once again dropped for the following game as big names, such as Alviro Peterson, had returned from international duty and pushed him out of the team.
After his poor time in the Aussie Big Bash, playing just two games, Jade joined up with the England Lions in Sri Lanka, playing 3 games and taking 3 wickets. He was then named in both the ODI and T20 squads for England ahead of the upcoming series against Pakistan. His first game in the UAE was against the England Lions for England, in which the senior side won easily. Jade took 3-21 off of 8 overs, including Alex Hales off his first ball, to help England bowl the Lions out for less than 100. He has now made a claim to be named in the team for the first ODI on Monday, but faces stiff competition from Broad, Anderson and co.
Rory Hamilton- Brown
The Surrey skipper had a poor winter for Mashonaland Eagles and Wellington in the Twenty20 competitions. Since my last instalment, RHB played two more games for the New Zealand outfit before arriving back at the Kia Oval, scoring 13 and 15 respectively. He only played 4 games for them overall, barely averaging 10 in the process, so it was a winter that he will want to forget in a hurry and will be looking to be in better form for the important season that awaits his team.
After his fantastic end to last season, Chris Jordan has had a relatively quiet winter so far. However, last week he was signed by Barbados as their overseas player in the West Indian 4 day competition. His first game could have been last Friday, but he wasn’t selected, as players such as Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach and Tino Best are ahead of him in the pecking order. However, if he does get a chance to play, it will be vital experience and practice, ahead of an important season for him after signing a new one year contract towards the end of last year.
New overseas signing Murali Kartik hasn’t played any cricket for the last 2 months. However, he has been retained by the Pune Warriors for this year’s Indian Premier League which starts on April 4th. However, in the last few days, it has emerged that there is a possibility the Pune Warriors won’t participate in the competition due to a problem with their sponsorship for the tournament. But if they do take part, then Kartik will be unavailable for Surrey at the start of the season and could miss up to 7 championship games up to the end of May, which is a massive part of the season. Therefore, Chris Adams is looking at bringing a temporary replacement in, and the South African leg spinner Imran Tahir is a name which is rumoured that Adams is interested in.
Tom Maynard has played 4 games for the England Lions since the last instalment scoring 89 runs, including a 55 ball 68 against Bangladesh A in a Twenty20 game. However, his overall performance wasn’t deemed good enough by the England selectors and he missed out on the Lions squad to tour Sri Lanka and Dubai. Like most of the England players, Maynard wasn’t bought in the IPL auction on February 4th, so it will be down to his form for Surrey to regain his Lions place.
Stuart Meaker has played a few of games for the England Lions in the last month, taking 4 wickets in the process. He was then named in the squad to travel to Sri Lanka and the UAE but had to withdraw due to a back injury and has flown back to the UK. So, disappointing for Meaker, who would have been looking to add to his 2 England caps, and now has to concentrate on being fit for the opening day of the season for his county.
The 35 year old Australian has been a busy man over the winter, playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Champions League, the Mountaineers in Zimbabwe and Melbourne Renegades in the Aussie Big Bash. And he will be getting busier, as last week he signed for the Highveld Lions, to play in the South African T20 competition alongside Zander de Bruyn, which starts on Friday 17th of February. When that competition finishes, he will be travelling to India for the IPL to once again play in a star-studded RCB team, before joining up with Surrey in June for the FLt20.
I think it is fair to say, as well as most of the other batsman, KP has had an awful last month. Averaging less than 11 in the 3 tests against Pakistan is far less than what is expected of him, with many calling for him to be axed in the last test. However, Andy Flower and the selectors have stuck with him, naming him in both of the limited overs squads, and have pushed him up the order like he did in the 2011 World Cup. In the tour match against England Lions, he found some form hitting 41 in an easy victory for the senior team.
Since the last instalment, JJ Roy has played 4 matches, 2 for England Lions and 2 for the Chittagong Kings. For the Lions, he struck 40 runs in the two Twenty 20 matches, but it wasn’t good enough and Roy was left out of the squad which travelled to Sri Lanka and the UAE. Roy was also one of the host of England players who went unsold in the IPL auction on February 4th. However, on the 9th, it was announced he would play in the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League for the Chittagong Kings. In his first game, Roy struck 43 off 25 balls in a win for his side. He then followed that up by hitting 36 in the next game against Khulna Royal Bengals, in another win for Chittagong. There is at least 8 games left in the competition for the Kings, so it will be a great experience for him.
Chris Tremlett has had a retched month. It started off by going wicketless for England in the first test match against Pakistan. He then missed the second test due to a back injury and had to fly home to the UK. The injury was deemed serious enough for the big man to have an operation, which took place on February 8th, and will keep him out of action until at least May. His test future is surely in doubt as, when fit, Tim Bresnan is ahead of him in the pecking order, and another serious injury may put off the selectors.
Since the end of the county season, Gary Wilson and Ireland haven’t played too much, apart from a couple of ODI’s against Canada in late September. However, last month it was revealed that Wilson, along with other players such as William Porterfield and Paul Stirling, had been given a category B Central Contract by Ireland. Gary will now be involved with his national team regularly, starting with a tour to Kenya this month, followed by a tour to the UAE for World T20 qualification in March.