County news July 12, 2017

Footitt leaves Surrey and heads back home

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Mark Footitt has made a surprise departure from Surrey © Getty Images

Nottinghamshire have re-signed left-arm seam bowler Mark Footitt following his release from Surrey for family reasons midway through the season.

Footitt, 31, has agreed a deal for the rest of the 2017 summer and the two seasons to follow. He has had a successful season for Surrey, taking 34 wickets at 26.85 in eight Championship matches, but one of his main reasons for heading to London was to achieve England honours and these have not been forthcoming.

The closest he came was In 2015 when he netted with the full England squad ahead of the Ashes series without quite managing to claim an international debut. His England ambitions were almost realised when he was chosen for the 2015/16 tour of South Africa but again without England taking the plunge.

Footitt admitted that he had never entirely settled in London - his family has never left the East Midlands. "When I signed for Surrey, I looked forward to a long and successful career at the Kia Oval. However, I've not been able to settle in London, away from my partner and my daughter.

"We have really struggled being apart and my relocation to London has meant I have been away from family support. We have tried to solve these problems for a long time without success, and have therefore had to ask for my release from Surrey.

"I am extremely grateful to Surrey, and Alec Stewart in particular, for their understanding of this situation which is not one I ever envisaged happening - and am hugely appreciative of their decision to allow me to leave and be back with my family."

Alec Stewart, Surrey's director of cricket, said: "A great deal of time, thought and consideration has gone into this decision but when Mark made it clear he could no longer continue with the situation, we agreed that this would be the best course of action."

The decision, nevertheless, puts the success of their return season in Division One of the Championship at risk.

Footitt is now returning to the city of his birth. He came through the ranks at Trent Bridge, making his first-class debut in 2005. He previously played in the Nottinghamshire Premier League as a teenager and had a successful spell at Derbyshire prior to his move to the Kia Oval.

He is a potent acquisition for a county that has looked bound to gain promotion from the first game this season and re-establish itself in the first division of the Specsavers Championship. Notts also beat Surrey in the Royal London Cup final earlier this month, a match in which Footitt did not figure.

Nevetherless, Nottinghamshsire do have pace bowling shortages that go far beyond the horrific injury to Luke Fletcher, who must miss the rest of the season on doctors' orders after suffering a horrific head injury from a straight drive while bowling in a NatWest Blast tie against Warwickshire at Edgbaston last Friday. Rather than playing cricket, Fletcher is just feeling lucky to be alive.

Australian quick James Pattinson has ended his stint with the county, Stuart Broad is now tied up with England's Test series against South Africa and Jake Ball, another fast bowler on the fringe of England's Test set-up has been injured - although he did have a bowl with England at Trent Bridge on Wednesday as they prepared for the second Investec Test.

"We've lost a lot of the players who have got us to the top of the table," said Notts' director of cricket, Mick Newell, "although hopefully Jake will be back soon.

"Mark wants to come back and play his cricket in the East Midlands, so we're very pleased to have the opportunity to sign him and welcome him back to Trent Bridge. He's obviously blossomed as a cricketer since he was last here, both at Derbyshire and Surrey, and we believe he can help us go where we want to go for the rest of this season and in the following two seasons at least."

Footitt will be available for all Notts' cricket from next week, including the NatWest T20 Blast home matches with the Derbyshire Falcons and Northamptonshire Steelbacks this weekend.

David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Bruce Bats on July 14, 2017, 9:07 GMT

    As a Surrey supporter I feel sad to see Footitt leaving. He was leading the pace attack at Surrey. But we have to respect one's personnel decision. I hope, he will perform well just like he did in Surrey and get a call from England again and this time actually represent England....hopefully by ashes. It will be interesting to see what Alec Stewart do to replace Footitt.

  • David on July 13, 2017, 22:17 GMT

    Hopefully Scott Borthwick coming back to Durham next? Not made many runs and hardly trusted to bowl by Gareth Batty (as evidenced by tonight's game).

  • jandjg9825462 on July 13, 2017, 18:48 GMT

    Think this is very much a County Championship signing, as the last contributor says he has hardly played any white ball cricket. He is however, as it stands, Surrey's leading wicket taker in the County Championship and top of their bowling averages with 23 wickets. If he continue in this vain he should be a very good signing for Notts not only to help them confirm their promotion this season but in the long term to help them with their eventual aim of building a squad capable of winning division one.

  • richar0634655 on July 13, 2017, 16:21 GMT

    With Fletcher out injured, Patto long gone, Broad with England and Ball coming back from injury we needed an extra seamer as the likes of Hutton and Wood lack experience and the other youngsters coming through like Blatherwick, Milnes and Kitt even more so.

    I notice Footitt rarely if at all played One day Cricket for Surrey, do any Rey fans or anyone else for that matter know the reason why? Just not good enough or deemed a 4 day bowler only? I have vague recollections of him playing T20 for Notts where he was expensive, though admittedly he wasn't the same bowler back then.

  • GeoffreysMother on July 13, 2017, 12:48 GMT

    to Cricinfouser

    'playing for Surrey to further you England ambitions' is a euphemism for getting paid more money isn't it?

    KP is apparently back in the team this Friday. I assume his contract only covers a set number of games ( and one was not to have to field at Chelmsford I imagine!). If you look at Gary Naylor's column in the G there is an anecdote about his preparations with Surrey seconds which shows the very nice side of the man.

  • Stuart on July 13, 2017, 11:05 GMT

    He was at Derbyshire prior to joining Surrey

  • Edwin on July 13, 2017, 9:25 GMT

    How can playing for Surrey furthered his England ambitions - Broad, Hales, Ball, Gurney, etc have all played for England?

  • michae7471641 on July 13, 2017, 7:43 GMT

    Don't know exactly when this surprising decision was made, but it would have been far easier in the light of Footitt's dreadful recent display against Hampshire at the Oval, when he sprayed the ball all over the place and got no assistance from either the lifeless pitch or clear overhead conditions. I understand that Footitt's form at the Oval has been erratic to say the least and his progress not helped by a lengthy period of injury, which I suppose felt far worse without his family around to console him. His complicated bowling action looked to me to be something that could malfunction at any time and so his patchy form would never come as any great surprise. Good signing for Notts for all that, but Surrey to be honest will manage quite well without him. I wish him well though and hope he has a bit more luck close to home.

  • Ross on July 13, 2017, 7:14 GMT

    He is allowed to miss the first four games due to other committments

  • cricfan1704988562 on July 13, 2017, 5:28 GMT

    why isn't kevin pietersen playing?

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