Surrey have signed the Durham batter Cameron Steel on a deal that will run until the end of the 2023 season and see him move to The Oval with immediate effect to help assuage their availability crisis for the Royal London Cup.
Steel, 25, has spent most of the 2021 summer on loan at Hampshire, playing largely for their second XI and in a single County Championship match. He caught Surrey's eye with two performances against their second team, scoring 134 in a four-day friendly in April and taking 4 for 20 in a T20 at The Oval with his legbreaks in June.
He joined Durham in 2016 after graduating from the university, making 51 appearances across formats. Marcus North, their director of cricket, said: "We thank Cameron for his commitment to Durham during the past five years."
He will join Surrey immediately, and will be in line to make his debut in the Royal London Cup against Yorkshire on July 22. Surrey are missing 12 first-team players in the 50-over competition due to their involvement in the Hundred, while Ben Foakes will miss both tournaments through injury.
"I'm ecstatic to be joining Surrey, and honoured to have the opportunity to play at a club with such a rich history," Steel said "Ever since watching England lift the Ashes in 2005, I've dreamt of being able to play at The Oval. I can't wait to meet everyone, get stuck in and contribute in any way I can to the club's success.
"I've had some of the best times of my life playing for Durham and living in the north east. While I'm sad that it hasn't worked out at Riverside, I'm extremely excited to begin my journey at Surrey."
Alec Stewart, Surrey's director of cricket, said: "I'm pleased that Cameron will join us at Surrey. As a player that can bat anywhere in the top order and bowls legspin, he adds balance to the squad. I look forward to seeing him perform in a Surrey shirt over the coming years."
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98