Nel signing key to Surrey promotion hopes

April 12, 2009 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Surrey continued their poor form from last season by finishing sixth in the Pro Arch trophy (pre season warm up). The same problems from last year emerged again and the Surrey faithful will no doubt be cheered by the signing of the fiery Andre Nel, A man who has played in 36 tests, taking 123 wickets at 31.86, along with 106 wickets in 79 ODI games. A player with vast international experience, just the man Surrey need to if they are to gain instant promotion to the first tier of domestic cricket.

Andre Nel announced his retirement as the age of 31 and has since signed a three year deal with a struggling Surrey Cricket Club. He joins the team as a Kolpak player which allows Grant Elliot to continue as the overseas player for the season. Surrey certainly could have used Nel in the Pro Arch Trophy, managing just a single win – against the UAE. Nel’s former club Essex run out eventual winners, winning every game in the process. Just by witnessing those games it is evident that Surrey have a lot of work to do to gain instant promotion. In the batting front, the team certainly has enough to get the big scores in the longer format of the game. They are less reliant in the shorter format though. The bowlers are not good enough to claim 20 wickets on a regular basis. There is in some cases, too much inexperience and in other cases, just a lack of quality. Having a bowler like Nel in the team, not only provides a lift to the bowlers around him, but to the whole team. There is no doubt that to win any games this year, Surrey have to bowl better than last year and Nel is the guy to provide this along with Grant Elliot. Both are very good in both formats of the game and so there will be a heavy reliance of both.

Michael Atherton famously described Yorkshire, Lancashire, Surrey and Warwickshire as the “big four” of cricket. Financially, that theory is correct, however, performance wise Surrey are no way near the quality required for a “big four” side. Surrey generate the highest income out of all the County teams and have a good youth devlopment system, so it is a mystery why they cannot create a capable team. The signing of Nel is just the boost the Surrey fans need and will hope he can inspire them to promotion.


Entry filed under: Cricket.

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