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News

Gareth Batty named permanent head coach at Surrey

Former spinner led club to Championship title after taking over on interim basis

Gareth Batty and Alec Stewart pose with the Championship trophy  •  Getty Images

Gareth Batty and Alec Stewart pose with the Championship trophy  •  Getty Images

Gareth Batty, who led Surrey to the County Championship title as interim head coach, has been appointed to the role full time. He succeeds Vikram Solanki, who left at the start of the year to take charge of IPL franchise Gujarat Titans.
Batty only retired from playing at the end of the 2021 season, after a lengthy career representing Surrey, Worcestershire and England, and initially moved on to the coaching staff as one of Solanki's assistants. After taking charge of the first team, he oversaw an impressive campaign that saw the London club win their first Championship since 2018.
"I'm honoured to have been given the opportunity to be head coach at this great club on a permanent basis," Batty said. "This year has been an incredible season and a steep learning curve for me as a coach but I have absolutely loved every second of it.
"The hard work put in by the coaching staff and the players was crucial in the success this year and we're looking to get straight back to it as pre-season begins. There's a huge amount of potential in this group of players and I'm excited to get going again with our eyes firmly set on more success in 2023."
Surrey won eight of their 14 Championship games and were unbeaten until the final round of the season, by which point that had already secured the pennant. One of Batty's most-significant moves as coach was to rely on a pace-heavy attack, with allrounder Will Jacks deployed as the frontline spinner to balance the side.
Surrey topped the South Group in the Vitality Blast, only to lose their home quarter-final against Yorkshire, but were less successful in the Royal London Cup - in part due to the demands on their playing staff through the Hundred and England commitments.
Alec Stewart, Surrey's director of cricket, said: "After a full and proper process, Gareth was the outstanding candidate for the role of head coach of Surrey's men's side and has fully earned his opportunity. Alongside our backroom team, Gareth did an outstanding job last season, handling all the challenges that were thrown his way.
"Batts is one of the most hard-working and forward thinking people in the game and his deep knowledge, commitment and dedication to the job that he brings every single day is a massive positive. His enthusiasm and his passion is infectious and this has been very well received by the group."
Batty was assisted by Azhar Mahmood and Jim Troughton during the 2022 summer, with both coaches expected to be retained on a permanent basis.