County news September 29, 2014

Surrey bring in Balcombe

ESPNcricinfo staff

Surrey have signed fast bowler David Balcombe from Hampshire on a two-year deal. Balcombe, 29, came through Surrey's Academy before joining Hampshire, where he struggled to hold down a regular place despite taking 141 first-class wickets over seven years.

Balcombe discovered a rich vein of form while on loan at Kent in 2011, taking 33 wickets at 17.81, and he was Hampshire's leading wicket-taker the following season. His returns dipped in 2012, however, and he only played in four Championship matches this year, as Hampshire won promotion back to Division One.

"It was a tough decision to make, but I think it's in the best interests of my career to start a fresh chapter elsewhere," Balcombe said. "I will always hold fond memories of the club who gave me my first chance in the professional game and I'll always be proud to have played for Hampshire."

Balcombe is one of three players to be leaving Hampshire, with the news that Michael Bates, the highly rated wicketkeeper, and Ruel Brathwaite have also been released. Bates was usurped as Hampshire's first-choice keeper in all formats by the arrival of Adam Wheater in 2013 from Essex; Brathwaite, who signed from Durham last year, only played once this season.

Surrey's director of cricket, Alec Stewart, said: "We are pleased to announce the signing of David Balcombe. He is a bowler who came through the Surrey system and he will add depth and experience to our squad and we welcome him back to The Oval."

Surrey have also extended the contracts of sevens players. Zafar Ansari, Rory Burns, Tom Curran and Dominic Sibley have signed three-year deals, while Gary Wilson, captain in 2014, Stuart Meaker and Gareth Batty have agreed two-year extensions.

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