BY MARCUS HOOK
All-rounder Sam Curran and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes are set to miss Surrey’s next two County Championship games, against Somerset at Guildford (20-23 June) and Yorkshire at Scarborough (25-28 June).
The pair have been named in the England Lions’ squad for the forthcoming triangular series against India A and West Indies A, which climaxes at the Oval on Monday, July 2.
Pulling players out of county cricket for second-tier international duty has caused tensions in the past.
Surrey would have reason to feel more aggrieved than most given that their nearest rivals in the championship hunt – Notts and Somerset – are only losing one player each to the 50-over tournament.
Kirstie White believes the entire Surrey Women team have justified the step up to Division One in the Women’s County Championship next year.
White and her team-mates sealed promotion from Division Two with victory at Essex after spending two years in the second tier of the 50-over competition.
Surrey notched up six wins from seven matches, including a record breaking 354-run victory over Derbyshire in which Nat Sciver hit 180 not out.
Although World Cup winner and Wisden cricketer of the year Sciver was only available for four matches, White praised the way the whole team has stepped up to the mark.
“Everyone has stepped up a gear this year,” she said. “That has maybe been helped by Nat’s presence at the first few games, but there hasn’t been a point where we’ve turned around and felt like we desperately needed Nat. Each player has played their role in terms of scoring runs and taking wickets and stood up as individuals.”
The team’s success has also come in the first year of Richard Bedbrook’s time as Surrey’s first ever permanent Women’s Head Coach, a factor that White believes shouldn’t be under-estimated.
“The whole team have responded to Bedders and his methods,” she said. “He is always trying to get the team thinking about what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re going to do it. It’s been a real breath of fresh air to have him with us.”
“Promotion feels like a welcome reward for all the hard work we have put in throughout the winter. For it to actually come off in the games is a great feeling.
“We’ve had clear plans in every game, coming in from training during the week and into the game at the weekend. The bowlers knew the areas they wanted to bowl, everyone was aware of their role in the field and the batters had a clear idea of what they had to do whether batting first or chasing.”
Australian international Nic Maddinson will be Surrey’s additional overseas player for the T20 Blast, which gets underway in four weeks‘ time.
Maddinson will join fellow Australian big-hitter Aaron Finch at the Oval after the pair have completed their international commitments against England, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
Maddinson, who is a forceful number three batsman for the Sydney Sixers in Twenty20 cricket, has appeared in two T20Is for Australia (one in 2013 and one in 2014), as well as three Tests against South Africa in 2016/17.
The 26-year-old has played 73 T20s and scored 1,549 runs at a strike rate of 130.93 with nine half-centuries to his name.