County news October 12, 2012

Keedy leaves Lancashire for Surrey


Surrey have signed Gary Keedy, the left-arm spinner, from Lancashire on a two-year deal. Keedy, 37, has been at Old Trafford since 1995, but has increasingly found first team opportunities limited due to the emergence of fellow left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan.

Surrey and Warwickshire had expressed an interest in Keedy at the end of 2011, but after he chose to remain with Lancashire he played just four Championship games in the 2012 season.

Wakefield-born Keedy left Yorkshire at the end of 1994, was capped by Lancashire in 2000, named their player of the year after taking 72 Champions wickets in 2004, awarded a benefit in 2009 and was leading wicket-taker - with 61 dismissals - as Lancashire won the County Championship title in 2011. He has claimed 50 wickets in a first-class season four times.

The arrival of Keedy at The Oval is the latest stage in the rebuilding process of the Surrey squad. With the side having lost the spine of their batting unit in recent months - Mark Ramprakash, Tom Maynard and Rory Hamilton-Brown - the club's director of cricket, Chris Adams, has been obliged to shuffle his resources. He has already brought in Vikram Solanki, 36, from Worcestershire, while the signing of Keedy is a sure sign that Adams is looking for more experience in the squad. Keedy has taken 656 first-class wickets and is a veteran of 90 List A and 72 T20 matches.

The arrival of two men in their mid to late 30s will cause consternation among some, though. Surrey already have 37-year-olds Zander de Bruyn and Jon Lewis as well as 34-year-old Gareth Batty on their staff which suggests that, unless several of the young players develop considerably, the club could face yet another rebuilding operation in a couple of years. The club have also released Chris Jordan and Matthew Spriegel, of whom they had high hopes a few years ago.

The arrival of an experienced spin bowler increases the possibility of Surrey signing a batsman as overseas player in future seasons. Surrey have signed Indian left-arm spinners Murali Kartik and Pragyan Ojha as overseas players over the last two years, but the arrival of Keedy to boost a spin attack already containing offspinner Batty and young left-arm spinners Zafar Ansari and Freddie van den Bergh, leaves Surrey well stocked in that department. The club have already approached South Africa opening batsman Graeme Smith with a view to attracting him to The Oval on a long-term deal.

"I have had a fantastic 18 seasons at Lancashire and would like to thank all the players, staff and members there for everything they have done for me," said Keedy. "Winning the County Championship in 2011 was an incredible moment for both the club and myself and one that will stay with me forever.

"However, I have reached the time in my career when I need to move on in order to fulfil my ambitions and I am very excited to be joining Surrey at this time. They are a great club with a long history and an exciting future and I am really looking to playing my part over the next few seasons."

Lancashire's director of cricket Mike Watkinson added: "Gary has been a fantastic servant to Lancashire over many seasons, both on and off the field. At Lancashire we have up and coming spinners Simon Kerrigan, Stephen Parry and Arron Lilley all looking to stake a claim and with Gary being at the latter end of his playing career he wants the opportunity of playing as much cricket as possible.

"Gary asked our permission to look at other options and he goes with our best wishes. We would like to thank him for his outstanding service to the club and we wish him well with his future endeavours."

Surrey's director of cricket, Chris Adams, said: "Gary Keedy has been one of the leading bowlers in county cricket for over a decade and I am delighted he will be joining us for the next two seasons. As well as his fantastic ability with the ball, he will play a valuable role in the dressing room throughout the year helping to impart his experience to the younger members of our squad."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sanjay on October 13, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    @forestfan59: (1) The article doesn't have to be about Notts for me to mention them as long as my comment is relevant. Since I'm the judge and jury here, I say it was relevant. (2) I'm not in the least jealous as my team is the one that won the Championship in 2012 :) Instead, I pity Notts, they signed half the Leics squad at the end of last season, always looking to buy success rather than nurture it. (3) My sympathies are with you tho as I see you also support a rather laughable football outfit. Cheep up '59, it's not all that bad, I reckon you might just avoid relegation - both codes!

  • david on October 12, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    adrain im not sure i like the club in decline comment. from winners in 2011 to granted a poor showing last year. i expect lancs to make a swift return to div 1

  • John on October 12, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Seems a strange move. Keedy always seemed to me to be a Lancs man through and through. Also re Surrey , they seemed to be getting a nice little youth production line in place and now they seem to be going the other way.

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Makes sense to me, both for Surrey and Lancs. Youngsters Parry and Kerrigan now get mores games for Lancashire and Surrey needed a second Spinner while their youngsters develop. I would have liked either wrist spinner Waller or Beer to make a move like this as they are not developing at their Counties while they get no FC Cricket.

  • Michael on October 12, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    Good luck to Keedy, who has been a fine player, but this is a sad indication of how now cricket exists on the basis of a football-style transfer system, with rich clubs creaming off experienced ready-made professionals from clubs in decline rather than having confidence in their own developing players. Ansari in particular has a right not to feel too happy about what this move says about how much (or how little) his club values him.

  • Robert on October 12, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Disappointing. ECB told us 12 years ago that the national side was at the top of a pyramid. Not sure now how Surrey fit into this pyramid if they are just going to be a home for pensioners. If they have to make decisions like this then this points to there being too many 1st class counties -and not enough talented young players to fill the sides.

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    been a great servant to LCCC, good luck Gary

  • kenneth on October 12, 2012, 14:34 GMT


    What has this article got to do with Notts? Are you jealous your team cannot afford to sign the players that we can? We signed Shahzad to replace Pattinson who would have had to be an overseas player next year. All teams try to sign the best available players. The only accusation you can level at us is that we should be in the top two not 5th. with the squad we have. I cannot argue with you there!

  • Adrian on October 12, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    allblue-nice one! You got anymore like that?

  • Michael on October 12, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    It is sometimes quite hard to see where Surrey are going as there are so many changes. Obviously some cannot be avoided but with a rapid turnover the club loses its identity somewhat. Certainly I hope none of the youngsters there move on as they could be a good backbone in two years.It's okay bringing in older players only so long as the rest develope as they should. But in cases like Jon Lewis, though a good player, it was noticeable that Linley missed out because of his presence, and Linley had taken 73 wickets in the previous season.Also there is a qualitative difference between a 40 yr old like Mark Ramprakash and most others. Keedy is actually a very respected player and as a spinner could go on for a while. But what surrey really need is a few players 26-32. Finally Smith going to the Oval was I suspect a fantasy. Who cares? It could have been more controversial than helpful.

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