Gary Wilson, the Ireland wicketkeeper-batsman, has agreed to join Derbyshire on a three-year contract. Wilson made his Surrey debut in 2008 and captained the club in 2014 but lost the gloves this season to Ben Foakes.
Wilson, 30, was a regular in Surrey's four-day side between 2013 and 2015, scoring more than 2000 runs and averaging 42.90. He took over as wicketkeeper in early 2014, with Steven Davies looking to focus on his batting, and was then handed the captaincy after Graeme Smith's injury-enforced departure.
He went on to lead Surrey to a mid-table finish in Division Two, scoring a career-best 160 not out against Leicestershire, but was replaced as captain by Gareth Batty ahead of the 2015 season. Ireland commitments impacted on his availability this season and Foakes became first-choice behind the stumps, with Davies moving to Somerset for 2017.
"Gary is a very talented cricketer who has performed consistently with the bat and behind the stumps for Surrey and Ireland. He will bring real experience to the side," Derbyshire's head coach, John Sadler, said. "He has enjoyed success, securing promotion in 2015 and reaching the Royal London Cup final in the same season, and knows how to win games."
Derbyshire have endured a difficult season, with Graeme Welch stepping down as coach in June. They are winless in the Championship with one game of the season to go and guaranteed to finish bottom of Division Two. In the limited-overs competitions they twice finish sixth in the North Group.
Wilson's arrival will provide heft to the middle-order, as well as wicketkeeping back-up to Harvey Hosein after the retirement of Tom Poynton earlier this year.
"I know Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman really well and I've heard plenty about what he wants to achieve," Wilson said. "I can't wait to get started. There's a lot of talent at the club and they are learning and improving all the time. I'm keen to play a part as a senior player in ensuring that the squad's potential is turned into success on the field."