Surrey have signed Pakistan legspinner Shadab Khan and Australia opener D'Arcy Short for the 2020 Vitality Blast. Shadab will be making his first appearance in county cricket, while Short moves south after impressing with Durham in the Blast last season.
The signing of Short will go some way to making up for the loss of Aaron Finch, who has played regularly for Surrey since 2016 but is expected to be involved in Australia's limited-overs tour of England next summer, affecting his availability. Short finished as the fourth-leading run-scorer in this year's competition, with 483 at a strike rate of 139.59, despite Durham failing to make it beyond the group stage.
Shadab, 21, has played all three formats internationally but came to prominence in T20, during the 2017 Pakistan Super League. He has since played in the Big Bash and Caribbean Premier League, amassing 121 wickets in 98 games, with an economy of 6.81.
Described by Surrey's director of cricket, Alec Stewart, as "one of the most exciting spin bowlers in world cricket", Shadab will spend much of the 2020 summer in the UK, with Pakistan touring and having also been signed up for the Hundred - although his participation in that competition will depend on his involvement in the Test set-up. The full county fixture list for next year has not been announced but the Blast is expected to take place from May to July.
"I've been waiting for this opportunity to play county cricket for a long time and T20 cricket at the Kia Oval is a great place to start," Shadab said. "I'm honoured to be following in the footsteps of some great Pakistan cricketers and will do my best to make both my new team and the Surrey fans proud."
Short has played 20 T20Is and four ODIs for Australia, although he was left out of the series against Sri Lanka starting later this week. The left-hander, who also bowls useful wristspin, has been the leading scorer in each of the last two editions of the Big Bash, and has also featured in the IPL.
Stewart said that finding a replacement for Finch, who was Surrey's leading run-scorer in 2019, was behind the move. Short had been offered a new two-year contract to stay at Durham, with the club last week announcing their disappointment that he would not be returning.
"We're delighted D'Arcy will join us for next year's Vitality Blast," Stewart said. "With Aaron Finch unavailable, it was vitally important that we replaced him with a powerful batsman at the top of the order. D'Arcy was highly impressive with both bat and ball in this year's competition and we look forward to seeing him build on that in the 2020 season."
Short said: "I enjoyed my time in the Blast in 2019. To have the opportunity to come back in 2020 and play in front of full houses at one of the best grounds in the world is brilliant. I am already looking forward to joining up with the boys and I thank all involved for the opportunity."