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Footitt leaves Surrey and heads back home

Mark Footitt in full flow for 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.