County news March 15, 2010

Surrey warm up with Emirates Twenty20s

Cricinfo staff

Surrey's pre-season preparations begin with a trip to Dubai for the Emirates Twenty20 tournament, where the county will take on a Fly Emirates XI featuring Shahid Afridi, Sussex and a Cape Cobras development XI. The tour will also be Rory Hamilton-Brown's first in charge of the side following his move from Sussex.

After a winter of fitness conditioning, the players reported for official pre-season training on March 10 and will be leaving for Dubai on March 17. The Twenty20 tournament takes place on March 19 and 20, and following those games Surrey will play 40-over matches against Cape Cobras on March 22 and United Arab Emirates on March 25.

The nine-day trip is likely to see a Surrey debut for pace bowler Chris Tremlett and a return for offspinner Gareth Batty, who last represented the county in 2001.

"All the boys are very excited about the prospect of getting out to Dubai, feeling a bit of sun on our backs and playing some competitive cricket," said Hamilton-Brown. "The three other teams in the tournament look very strong so I am sure there will some tough cricket played, which is exactly what we need to get ahead of what will be a long season.

"On a personal note, I have very much enjoyed my first taste of Club captaincy over the last three months and am hungry to make a difference on the field as well as in the dressing room."

"We have made some big changes and some exciting signings over the off-season and it is a great feeling to finally be able to play some competitive cricket," added Chris Adams, Surrey's professional cricket manager.

"This tour will be a great opportunity for the squad to further come together as a cohesive unit and I am very much looking forward to seeing them in action on the field. On a separate note, I was in Dubai recently and I congratulate Emirates on a fantastic achievement to have successfully built '7he Sevens' ground in such a short time."

Surrey squad Rory Hamilton-Brown (Capt), Usman Afzaal, Laurie Evans, Chris Jordan, Tim Linley, Gareth Batty, Simon King, Jade Dernbach, Stuart Meaker, Gary Wilson, Michael Brown, Arun Harinath, Stewart Walters, Matthew Spriegel, Chris Schofield, Chris Tremlett, Mark Ramprakash