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Tim David signs last-minute Surrey deal to solve Blast availability crisis

Singaporean batter uses Dutch second division as springboard into two-match county stint

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Tim David at a training session  •  Lahore Qalandars

Tim David at a training session  •  Lahore Qalandars

Tim David, the Singaporean middle-order batter, has signed a short-term deal to play the final two games of the Vitality Blast group stage for Surrey thanks to a brief stint in Dutch second-division cricket which meant he was on hand during the club's availability crisis.
David, who is a regular for Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL and starred in the final stages of the PSL for Lahore Qalandars after signing as a replacement, played his first game for Quick Den Haag in the Dutch Hoofdklasse last weekend but has arrived in the UK in time to take part in Friday night's game against Kent at The Oval. The Netherlands is on the UK's 'amber' list, but David has not had to quarantine due to an exemption for elite sport and has taken multiple negative Covid tests.
Surrey's first-team squad has been decimated by injuries and illness in recent weeks, with Sam and Tom Curran and Jason Roy among the England white-ball players self-isolating following an outbreak in the camp, and Will Jacks drafted in as a late replacement. Kyle Jamieson injured his glute during the County Championship match against Hampshire, ruling him out of the final two games of his time at the club, while Ollie Pope is unavailable with a thigh injury and Hashim Amla took several blows on his gloves during his final-day rearguard at the Ageas Bowl.
"After finishing the PSL in the UAE recently, I decided to play some league cricket in Holland instead of flying back to Australia to quarantine and I am really excited that an opportunity has come up," David said. "Hopefully I can have an impact for Surrey in their final few T20 Blast games.
"I'm stoked with the chance to play for a county as big as Surrey and to get my first experience of playing in the Vitality Blast. It has been a busy few days since I got a call with the potential opportunity and I can't wait to play at the Kia Oval tomorrow night, hopefully in front of a big crowd."
Alec Stewart, Surrey's director of cricket, said: "With the loss of Kyle Jamieson to injury and Will Jacks to international duty, as well as the unavailability of Ollie Pope and Hashim Amla we wanted to try and cover off a middle-order ball-striker and fortunately we were able to secure the services of Tim David at very, very late notice."
Elsewhere, Essex have extended Jimmy Neesham's deal with the club, which will see him play in next week's County Championship game against Derbyshire and in the second half of the Royal London Cup group stages following his three games with Welsh Fire in the Hundred.
Essex were missing a middle-order batter following Dan Lawrence's last-minute ODI call-up and had a vacant overseas spot following Peter Siddle's return to Australia.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98