County news February 2, 2015

Batty named Surrey captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

© PA Photos

Surrey have appointed Gareth Batty as their permanent captain. Batty, 37, has been a reliable and experienced figure in the dressing room over recent turbulent seasons at The Oval, leading the side on several occasions.

It had been envisaged that Graeme Smith would complete the third year of his contract as captain in 2015 but his two campaigns with Surrey were cut short by injury. The latter, a fracture to his knee, led to retirement, with Surrey handing Gary Wilson the captaincy for the rest of 2014.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Batty took charge during a particularly traumatic period at the club, following the death of Tom Maynard. Rory Hamilton-Brown, who left for Sussex at the end of the 2012 season, was then succeeded as club captain by Smith, although his initial stint was also brief, leading to Batty again filling in.

An offspinner and capable batsman, Batty began his career at Yorkshire before moving to Surrey in the late 1990s. It was with Worcestershire between 2002 and 2009 that he flourished, winning 18 caps for England and earning a second chance in London.

"Gareth is a very honest man, of fine character and a good leader. He has the respect of the dressing room and the club is proud to have him," Alec Stewart, Surrey's director of cricket, said. "It is a huge honour to be appointed the captain of Surrey County Cricket Club and we have every confidence that he will lead the team forward."