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Vikram Solanki has resigned from his position as head coach at Surrey CCC with immediate effect, ending a nine-year association with the club, after being recruited to join the new IPL franchise - based in Ahmedabad - as its director of cricket.
"Surrey has been an extremely valuable part of my life for the last nine years, both as a player and as a coach, making the decision to leave a difficult one," Solanki said in a statement issued by Surrey. "I am forever grateful for the level of support that has always been afforded to me and my family during my time here. A special thank you too to Alec Stewart who has been a mentor and a guide.
"I will always remain inspired by all the interactions and learnings with players and staff I have had the good fortune of working so closely with. There are many respected friendships I will cherish for a lifetime.
"Finally, it has been a privilege to serve this great club in the small way I have, and it has been an honour to have been the head coach of Surrey for the last two years. To all the players, staff and Members, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!"
The support staff line-up finalised by the Ahmedabad franchise includes Ashish Nehra and Gary Kirsten. The trio of Kirsten, Nehra and Solanki had earlier worked together at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2019 IPL season. The team has also picked up Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill ahead of the player auction, scheduled for February.
Solanki, who played 51 ODIs and three T20Is for England between 2000 and 2007 with moderate returns, had joined Surrey as a player ahead of the 2013 season. In 2016, he took on a player-cum-coach role with the Surrey Second XI. He stayed with the Second XI for the 2017 season entirely in a coaching capacity.
He became assistant head coach, to Michael di Venuto, in the winter of 2017, and following di Venuto's departure at the end of the 2020 season, Solanki was appointed head coach - making him the first British Asian to hold such a position at any of the first-class counties.
"Taking over during a period of great uncertainty at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, Solanki guided Surrey to the final of the 2020 Vitality Blast with a squad including 16 academy graduates," a Surrey statement said. "During his time at the helm, seven Surrey players have featured in England men's sides."
Solanki was also named president of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations in March 2016, a position he holds to this day.
An announcement on Solanki's successor as Surrey head coach will be made in due course.