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News

Laurie Evans quits red-ball cricket, signs white-ball contract extension with Surrey

Evans will focus on T20 cricket after success on global franchise circuit

Laurie Evans played five first-class games in his second stint at Surrey  •  Getty Images

Laurie Evans played five first-class games in his second stint at Surrey  •  Getty Images

Laurie Evans has quit red-ball cricket after signing a white-ball-only contract extension with Surrey.
Evans re-joined Surrey on an all-formats contract in 2020 after three seasons with Sussex and has played five first-class matches in his second stint at The Oval, including two appearances in last summer's County Championship.
He had initially joined Sussex in a bid to play more first-class cricket after struggling for regular first-team opportunities at Warwickshire, but has become a sought-after T20 batter around the world since finishing the Blast as the competition's leading run-scorer in 2018. Most recently, he was player-of-the-match in the Big Bash final to help Perth Scorchers beat Sydney Sixers to the trophy.
Evans leaves the red-ball game at the age of 34 after 73 first-class appearances, in which he made six hundreds and 18 fifties to finish with an average of 29.36.
"I have made the decision to focus the remainder of my career on white-ball cricket for a number of reasons," Evans said in a statement. "Firstly, I still have a burning ambition to play at international level. The chances of me doing this in Test cricket are gone but I still believe that I could do a job for England in white-ball cricket and by focusing my efforts purely on this, I can best develop my skills further.
"Secondly, I believe this is the best way for me to manage myself physically over the coming years. I am loving my time at The Kia Oval and also the experiences I am getting from playing in franchise competitions around the world.
"Finally, I believe this is the best decision for Surrey County Cricket Club as it allows younger players to gain experience in red-ball cricket with me stepping aside fully. I would like to thank the club for their continued understanding and support."
Evans' contract with Surrey was due to expire at the end of the 2022 season but has now been extended for at least one more year with the option of a further season.
He will, in theory, be available for Surrey in all white-ball cricket but is almost certain to be signed in the Hundred draft at the end of March, which will mean he misses the Royal London Cup and is only available in the T20 Blast. He has previously played in the Caribbean Premier League and his retirement from red-ball cricket could open up further CPL opportunities.
Alec Stewart, Surrey's director of cricket, said: "This is not a choice I would advise any younger player to make while there is still plenty of time for them to achieve so much in the game.
"However, at this stage of Laurie's career and after discussing it at length with him, I fully understand and respect the decision he has made. I look forward to seeing him perform in T20 cricket for Surrey over the coming seasons."
Surrey failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the T20 Blast last season but are expected to compete this season. They have re-signed Chris Jordan from Sussex as captain, while Dan Worrall, who has regularly taken the new ball for Adelaide Strikers in the BBL, has signed as a local player and several England players - including Tom Curran, Sam Curran and Jason Roy - are expected to be available for most of the group stages.