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Surrey set for recruitment drive

George Dobell at Guildford

July 14, 2012

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Zafar Ansari clubbed 60 off 54 balls, Surrey v Durham, Clydesdale Bank 40, The Oval, May 20, 2012
Zafar Ansari is one of the youngsters who will be given more chances at Surrey © PA Photos
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Surrey are to embark on a recruitment drive following the loss of several key players, according to their director of cricket Chris Adams.

The club, reeling from the death of Tom Maynard, have also lost Mark Ramprakash to retirement and their captain, Rory Hamilton-Brown to a prolonged period of compassionate leave. No time frame has been put upon Hamilton-Brown's return, with the club admitting he may not play again this season.

That leaves them without three of their top six from the start of the season and, while Adams is keen to provide opportunities to the club's younger players, he also feels the club need to bring in more experienced players

"We will definitely be recruiting," Adams told ESPNcricinfo. "We were always going to be looking for an opening batsman and an overseas player, but now we will be looking for a middle-order batsman as well. We also need an infusion of leadership, so we may be looking at senior players.

"Most people wait to the off-season to rebuild, but we will start now. We have a very different group of players now. A month ago we had a team who had earned the right to have a bit of freedom with their preparation, that dynamic has changed. We have a young group, with less knowledge, and I've asked the coaching staff to take a more hands-on approach with them.

"We are more than fine with our seam bowling unit and we will be giving more opportunities to some of our young players. Zafar Ansari is a star of the future while Jason Roy has suddenly become a senior batsman. The likes of Tom Lancefield, Arun Harinath, Gary Wilson, Rory Burns and Matthew Spriegel will all have opportunities, too. There are a couple of other players - the likes of Chris Jordan - who need to show us what they can do over the next couple of months.

"We've been left in a state of rebuilding. And that rebuilding job starts now."

Adams' words will spread discomfort around the county circuit. Surrey's budget and ambition are more than a match for any competitor and, as has been shown in recent times, the richer clubs are now prepared to compensate counties for players who are in contracts elsewhere.

Adams dismissed the idea that Ramprakash might have been asked to postpone his retirement to provide some experience in a green-looking top-order. "We have been very fortunate to have seen the best of Mark Ramprakash at Surrey," Adams said. "I first saw him when I was 13 and I knew then that he was going to be a genius. But he has made his decision and I respect that. The time was right for him."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

What A Joke!! Mark only made his decision to retire as he was told by Surrey that he wasn't wanted for the rest of the season! http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2012/content/story/571179.html He was more than willing to play on, and trained probably harder than anyone. Have to say I've lost a bit of respect for Surrey due to this decision. Very Disappointing. Mark always played for the Club he represented, never himself and should have not been disregarded in this way.

Posted by njr1330 on (July 15, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

In Ramprakash's brilliant career, can he not be forgiven for one dodgy 'half-season' which coincided with the worst cricketing weather, and the earliest season start, in history. I think there is little doubt, but that he would have come good in the 2nd half of the season; then he could have retired, with goodwill all round.

Posted by whatawicket on (July 15, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

rory maybe a close friend. but life goes on and you maybe have closer relations in future that will die and you always remember them that never goes away. you are lucky if thats the word to have a job were you get paid during this period. get back to what you do and score loads of runs for your mate and get on with life.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 15, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

@Raghu Chandan, the problem is the BCCI issuing an NOC for laxman, Dravid, and Ganguly are over the hill, and Punter doesnt want to play in the UK at the moment. They are actually better off developing players from thier youth and second XI squads, and recruiting an overseas player next season.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

What A Joke!! Mark only made his decision to retire as he was told by Surrey that he wasn't wanted for the rest of the season! http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2012/content/story/571179.html He was more than willing to play on, and trained probably harder than anyone. Have to say I've lost a bit of respect for Surrey due to this decision. Very Disappointing. Mark always played for the Club he represented, never himself and should have not been disregarded in this way.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

It is very disappointing. But surrey can try for some of the indian players like GUNGULY r DRAVID evn LAXMAN 4m Australia they can go 4r Ponting evry one of these players are opening batsman evn a good leader of team

Posted by ATC1810 on (July 14, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

Whilst one can have some sympathy for Surrey for having to deal with the tragic death of Tom Maynard, you have to remember that it arguably took the club 10 years to recover from the death of Ben Hollioake. Clearly they are keen to avoid another long process of rebuilding. They have also acquired a reputation for trying to buy success, a strategy that has not been entirely successful itself with just the one recent one day trophy to their name. Also hands off the Bears they're all quite happy where they are thank you.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (July 14, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

Compton, Hildreth and Buttler are not for sale. Shop closed. Sorry.

Posted by PCMikey on (July 14, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

@Terry Brown I don't see it as a joke. Although I have a lot of respect for Ramps you have to look at his recent stats. First class average last season of 33 including one 100. When he was dropped by Surrey this season he had scored 62 in 8 innings. Perhaps he should have made the decision himself before being pushed into it.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

i don't agree with bigger counties with lots of money almost bullying smaller counties into letting them have their better players for a small compensation fee, i always thought this was the difference between cricket and football but its changing more and more in recent years, some counties are trying to buy trophies rather than develop local players. surely in a county with the cricket tradition of Surrey there is an 18 year old playing club cricket somewhere who could be a potential star batsman.

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