Surrey sign Sean Abbott County Championship and Vitality Blast

February 14, 2024
Australia pace bowler Sean Abbott will be back for his third stint at Surrey this summer, having enjoyed a terrific spell with the Three Feathers in 2023

Adelaide, Feb 14 (IANS) Australia pace bowler Sean Abbott will be back for his third stint at Surrey this summer, having enjoyed a terrific spell with the Three Feathers in 2023. The Australian will be available for four County Championship matches and eight Vitality Blast fixtures across May and June.

In the County Championship, the Australian played a key role for Surrey in retaining the title, picking up 37 wickets at an average of less than 25, and scoring more than 450 runs at an average of over 45.

In the Vitality Blast, Abbott played the innings of the year with a record-equalling 34-ball century against Kent Spitfires at The Kia Oval – the fastest hundred ever for Surrey. He also delivered in key moments with the ball, including taking 4-23 in the semi-final of the competition against Somerset.

Abbott, whose star shone brightly in both the County Championship and the Blast last season, is slated to grace Surrey’s lineup from May to June, covering a crucial period of the tournament. However, his commitments to Major League Cricket (MLC) would see him missing the Blast’s group stages prematurely.

Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, voiced his confidence in Abbott’s abilities, citing his past contributions both on and off the field. “Sean is exactly what we look for in an overseas professional at this club,” Stewart remarked, underlining the strategic significance of Abbott’s return.

“Sean is a highly skilled cricketer, and everyone saw last season what he is capable of in red-ball and white-ball cricket,” Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, said. “He had an outstanding impact as a cricketer and as a member of the dressing room… Sean is exactly what we look for in an overseas professional at this club.”

Hardie’s inclusion, announced the week prior, completed Surrey’s overseas roster for the initial phase of the Blast. With the duo’s arrival, speculation swirled regarding the potential return of Sunil Narine, a familiar face in Surrey’s ranks. However, Narine’s absence last year due to MLC commitments raised doubts about his availability this season.

“Last year at Surrey was brilliant and I knew straight away that I wanted to come back for 2024. The dressing room is one of the best I’ve been a part of and it’s no surprise that it led to success on the pitch,” said Sean Abbott.

“I’m buzzing to be coming back to join up with the team. I can’t wait to pull on the Three Feathers again and help the Club push for more success,” he added.

Yet, Surrey’s ambitions weren’t confined to overseas signings alone. The looming specter of England’s T20 World Cup plans cast a shadow over the county squad, with several key players expected to be called up. From Gus Atkinson to Sam Curran, the list of potential absentees loomed large, challenging Surrey’s depth and resilience.

–IANS/hs/

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