County news March 24, 2016

Rampaul signing cheers Surrey after Dernbach blow

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ravi Rampaul blows a kiss during the Caribbean Premier League © CPL T20 Ltd.2015

Surrey have strengthened their bowling attack ahead of the new season by signing the West Indian pace bowler Ravi Rampaul on a two-year deal.

Rampaul, 31, who has played 18 Tests, 92 ODIs and 23 T20Is, will ease Surrey's worries about the strength of their pace resources on their return to Division One after an injury to Jade Dernbach exposed a squad that has lost Chris Tremlett and Tim Linley from last season.

Surrey have, though, pulled off one of the most high-profile signings of the clsoe season by tempting Mark Footitt, the leading wicket-taker in Division Two last season, from Derbyshire.

Surrey have benefited from London weighting this season on the ECB salary cap and have used this to pull off a series of overseas raids.

Rampaul is Surrey's third overseas signing this month after the securing of the South African pacemen Conor McKerr and Mathew Pillans, by virtue of British ancestry, stoked fears in South Africa about a drain of talent into county cricket. Rampaul will qualify to represent Surrey as a Kolpak player.

Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart said: "Ravi will add experience to our seam bowling attack and we look forward to him joining the squad."

Surrey also confirmed that Dernbach is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a back problem. A statement on the club's website read: "Following a scan on his injured back earlier this week, Jade Dernbach is due to have more diagnostic testing in six weeks time. It is then hoped that he will return to cricket specific rehabilitation."