Surrey sign Finch as Sangakkara cover
Surrey have signed Australia batsman Aaron Finch as cover for Kumar Sangakkara while he is at the Caribbean Premier League. Finch, who has previously played for Yorkshire, is expected to be available from July 2, when Surrey begin a Championship fixture against Warwickshire.
Sangakkara is Surrey's main overseas signing for 2016 but has been named as one of the marquee players in this year's CPL draft, which will be held next week. The CPL is due to run for six weeks from the end of June until the beginning of August, a particularly busy time of the English season when Surrey have fixtures in all three formats.
Finch had formed an association with Yorkshire, coached by former Australia bowler Jason Gillespie, and had spells there in 2014 and 2015. Despite his T20 prowess, where he captains Australia and is ranked the No. 2 batsman in the world, his more notable performances for Yorkshire came in the Championship; he averaged 46.11 in eight matches, scoring one of his four first-class hundreds, compared to 20.75 in the NatWest T20 Blast.
"This is a great opportunity for me and one I am very much looking forward to," Finch said. To have the chance to play all forms of the game is a challenge I will relish, as I have ambitions to represent Australia in Test match cricket. I'm aware that Surrey have an exciting young squad and I hope I am able to add to their obvious talent."
Finch is currently beginning rehabilitation from a hamstring injury but hopes to be fit to lead Australia's World T20 campaign next month.
Surrey's director of cricket, Alec Stewart, said: "Securing a player of Aaron's quality for such a busy period of red- and white-ball cricket is excellent news for the club and I'm confident we will see his qualities in all formats of the game."
Last week, Surrey announced a short-term deal with Dwayne Bravo as their second overseas player for the Blast but his availability will also be cut short by his involvement in the CPL. The county are also looking for a new head coach, after Graham Ford's departure for Sri Lanka and Paul Farbrace's decision to stay with England.