Warwickshire v Surrey, Edgbaston, 4th day September 20, 2013

Surrey relegated by Javid and Woakes


Warwickshire 120 for 0 dec (Chopra 69*) and 281 for 4 (Javid 119*, Woakes 79*) beat Surrey 400 for 5 dec (Solanki 162, Davies 103, Amla 77) and forfeit by six wickets

Surrey went down tamely in the end, their optimistic plan to take 10 Warwickshire wickets in less time that it took to concede 281 runs falling a long way short as Ateeq Javid and Chris Woakes built a magnificent partnership that saw the home side's requirement met with more than 25 overs to spare of the final day.

Javid, a neat right-handed batsman of only 21 years who has come into his own in the second half of the season, played superbly, applying himself with considerable patience and diligence on the third evening, with his side 19 for 2, and again as the final day unfolded and Surrey momentarily glimpsed a chance when they removed Laurie Evans and Rikki Clarke in the morning session.

Evans threw his wicket away by chasing a wide long-hop from Stuart Meaker and Clarke deflected a drive on to his own stumps, at which point Warwickshire were still 155 from their target, a point at which another wicket or two might have had them looking at their long tail and getting jittery.

But Javid never wobbled for a moment, and once Woakes was settled and timing his shots confidently the scoreboard was seldom static and Surrey's morale steadily weakened. The pitch offered nothing that the spinners, Gareth Batty and Zafar Ansari, could use to much effect, and the threat posed by the quicker men was never more than fleeting. Chris Tremlett, who has ended doubts over his future by signing a one-year extension to his contract, did not look like a bowler champing at the bit, even with an Ashes squad due to be announced.

Thus ended a grim year, the second in a row, for Surrey, who reached the final of the FLt20 but saw little else for their investment in a squad that has, at different times, seen Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, Kevin Pietersen and Hashim Amla pulling on a Surrey sweater.

The departure through injury in May of South Africa captain Smith, who had been hired to bring order and purpose to a dressing room still feeling the pain left by the Tom Maynard tragedy, was a severe blow, effectively requiring the plans for the season to be redrawn. Within a few weeks came the sacking of team director, Chris Adams, but Alec Stewart, the executive director who has been in temporary charge since then, offered no excuses.

"We did not look like a relegation squad on paper but we don't play on paper," he said. "If you look at the lack of batting points, the lack of times we haven't bowled sides out - the win column says one and if you only win one game you are going to finish near the bottom.

"Losing Graeme Smith was a blow. You don't want to lose your leader, no side would want to lose their captain, no one would want to lose someone of the calibre of Graeme Smith. He had only been there three games or so but had a huge impact, not just as a batsman -- we knew he was a fine player, a fine leader - it was the impact he had on the dressing room.

"But that's not an excuse. We lost him. Other sides lose players, other sides lose their captain for a while. We have not played well enough. You can't stand here and defend something you can't defend.

"We needed to have played better. It was not a question of one person not being here. Collectively the performances were not good enough, which is why we are sat rock bottom."

Stewart accepted that there would be some supporters of other teams who would revel in Surrey's demise, burdened as they are with the label of county cricket's fat cats. He questioned whether it was entirely fair but took it is as inevitable.

"There are plenty of people out there who will be pleased to see us go down," he said. "We are looked upon as a big club, we have been tagged as this cheque-book county. But people forget there is a salary cap.

"There is expectation of Surrey but who brings that expectation? Is it from within Surrey, or from outside of Surrey because it is a Test match ground, because it is London, because as a club it makes a lot of money, with the Test match revenues, the T20 revenues and the way they market the club? That's maybe a reason. There is the history as well.

"You have to look at the here and now and the immediate future, and the future is to make sure we have good people, who can improve as individuals, and good people at the top who can help nurture those younger players through.

"For us now it is about how you plan for one to five years, so that you don't come up and go down again, and stay strong for a length of time.

"I don't want to stay in Division Two for longer than one year but when you do get promoted you want to make sure the foundations are there so that you can stay in the first division and then challenge at the top end rather than trying to survive at the bottom end."

Permanent replacements for Adams and first-team coach Ian Salisbury will be announced in the coming weeks, Stewart said. "We are getting closer, but there was never any rush. Stuart Barnes in the head coach role has been outstanding, with his work ethic and his attention to detail, and David Thorpe, our team analyst who has been involved with our academy, has stepped up well.

"They have done all they can, the players have done all they can in their work ethic. That has not been transferred to the middle, with bat and ball."

The future, meanwhile, looks brighter for Warwickshire. Failing to defend their title has been a disappointment, but an understandable one given terrible luck with injuries, a headache that has not yet lifted after Jamie Atkinson broke a thumb, giving them another problem over who keeps wicket.

Yet Javid and Woakes, both former players with the inner-city Aston Manor club, have given them the chance to finish their season in the top three for the third year running, should they condemn another team to relegation with a win at Derby next week.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on September 23, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Sorry, "Paul Such"... Not sure why I keep adding the extra "a".

  • Mark on September 23, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    @Nucutlet He certainly was very close to an England place. In the 1980s England did play specialists such as Paula Such and John Childs who were strong contenders for the worst England #11 ever. Keedy, at one point, was extremely close to joining them.

    @JG2704 Gemaal Hussain had a superb start for Gloucestershire. Had he stayed I am sure that he would have been a Lions player within a year, I do not know what has happened at Somerset, but he has just lost it completely there.

  • ian on September 22, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    @ Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2013, 8:43 GMT). I feel sorry for Keedy. had he been able to bat even a little bit, then he must have been close to an England place pre-Swann. Ashley Giles, however, could bat, & got the Test berth, getting on so well with Vaughan as he does, but most good judges would have had GK down as a better SLA bowler ten or so years ago. I'm not sure that Surrey will retain his services, despite doing all that's been asked of him on his rare appearances this season. I'd like to think that he's had a role in mentoring Zafar Ansari who surely represents the future of Surrey cricket. I can see ZA as captain one day. I think your sinking ship is great, BTW! Surrey was holed below the water-line when Biff left. No football club would take on a player without a thorough medical. If Smith's ankle had never played up before it could have been put down to bad luck, but it was (& remains) a chronic injury. That is yet another indictment of management, I'm afraid.

  • John on September 22, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    @Nutcutlet on (September 21, 2013, 21:51 GMT) I think you're right in that Surrey have been guilty of wanting quick fixes/instant success. You mention about Spriegel but on the other side of the coin I wonder how Keedy is feeling. He left a sunken ship last season only to jump on another sinking ship and now the original ship has been repaired and has resurfaced.

    Sorry , not sure if I did the sinking ship bit very well but you get the general idea

  • ian on September 21, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    @ Paul Rone-Clarke on (September 21, 16:04 GMT): You're actually wrong, Paul. Surrey is very good at finding players & even signing them on. What Surrey singularly has failed to do is develop them, give them time to mature & then back them whilst they grow in competence & confidence. The ides of developing home-grown talent is something that really seems to have had a low priority in the Surrey set up in recent years. Here's a list of players that initially played for Surrey but are doing great deeds elsewhere: Rikki Clarke, Tim Murtagh, Michael Carberry, Chris Jordan, Laurie Evans. The basis of a very strong side, you'll agree - just thrown away! It's scandalous! Matt Spriegal went to N'hants at the end of last season. He hasn't quite hit his straps there, but he could well find himself playing in Div1 next year whilst the club that didn't think him good enough heads in the other direction! There are people at the top at Surrey who need to walk away now; they've done enough damage.

  • John on September 21, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    @CS - I meant Kiby. I know GH came from Gloucs but he very rarely plays for Somerset and yes if I was a Gloucs fan I'd not be happy about that. Re Contrived results , there would obviously have to be some legislation but I'd say that if an inns is forfeited then that fits into the category of contrived results... But you'd have to have some legislation. TBH it probably wouldn't bother me so much if Somerset weren't going to be affected by the result had it gone Surrey's way. I'm not really that big on the decision being labelled a gamble or brave by Surrey.If it was a situation where a draw would have put Surrey in a position where it was all in their hands going into the final game and they went for a win which would have all but guaranteed them safety against defeat which would have all but guaranteed them relegation that would have been a gamble. Being that the likelihood of a draw would have made little difference I don't really see it as a gamble

  • Dummy4 on September 21, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Shame really. A team of ex Worcestershire players now join the real Worcestershire in the 2nd Division. Wonder who Surrey will buy this year - becasue despite having 11 million people on their doorstep they sure don't produce any players of their own

  • Mark on September 21, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    @JG2704 "Somerset have a 1st team regular from Gloucs who they would have been reluctant to let go". Do you mean Gamaal Hussain, or Steve Kirby? Surrey took Jon Lewis. Kane Williamson went to Yorkshire. From having a side that chased promotion almost up to the last round in 2011, we went to having a side that had lost all its names, including the entire attack and was so thin on reserves that we were looking at playing amateurs to make up the numbers.

    How do you define a contrived result? The rule would be un-enforeceable. Sides would just be a bit more subtle about doing it (we opened the bowling with Chris Read because both our opening bowlers and the first change had minor strains and we didn't want to risk them...) There used to be a one-innings match rule if a game started with fewer than 8 hour of play left. Maybe it could be extended to matches where the first innings *has not been completed with 8hr left* but, if you remove bonus points, the win points need to be attractive.

  • Samuel on September 21, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Shows just how poor Surrey have been; when you look at the squad, there is no way they should be going down. As a Somerset fan I'd have been a bit miffed if this result ended up keeping them up; I'm not a fan of contrived declarations and games, even though they entertainment value they offer is huge. That said, as people are pointing out, what's to stop us & Notts doing something similar next week?

    I think Surrey will be back though. Still some fine players at the club, and plenty of young talent. With Keedy, Lewis & de Bruyn leaving too, they will have a better mix of said young talent and experienced faces like Solanki & Batty guiding them. Burns & Ansari are highly promising, whilst Meaker, Edwards & Dunn are among the three more exciting young quicks in the country. Hopefully Edwards & Dunn gain more exposure in Div 2, whilst Meaker, who has been struggling with injuries this year (& attempted to play through them, leading to even more time missed) can rediscover his fire.

  • Mark on September 21, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    @JG2704 There was a Tremlett bandwagon in mid-season and it ground to a halt suddenly. The suspicion is that, like Graeme Onions, he is not quite as good after the injury and has lost a little nip and will be found out (remember how Graeme Onions had a catastrophic winter last year in India and New Zealand?)

    Tremlett's injury record and relative age count against him, as well as doubts about his form and staying power. I would like to see Chris Jordan go (I'd send Stokes to the Lions tour where he will get more cricket). I hope that Nick Compton gets a chance, but he has had a relatively poor season (ave 42), so Taylor (who averages 52) would probably win between the two. The two jokers are Scott Borthwick, who has had an excellent season with the bat and a reasonable one with the ball and Samit Patel, who may get in if the panel is split between supporters of two other players.

  • No featured comments at the moment.