Cricket

Laurie Evans quits red ball cricket and signs white ball contract extension with Surrey

Laurie Evans quits red ball cricket and signs white ball contract extension with Surrey

Laurie Evans left red ball cricket after signing a white ball only contract extension with Surrey.

Evans joined Surrey on an all-format deal in 2020 after three seasons with Sussex and played five Premier League games in his second spell at The Oval, including two County Championship appearances last summer.

He originally joined Sussex with the aim of playing more top-class cricket after struggling for regular first-team opportunities at Warwickshire, but has become a sought-after T20 hitter around the world since finishing the Blast in as the competition’s top scorer in 2018. Most recently, he was player of the match in the Big Bash final to help the Perth Scorchers beat the Sydney Sixers for the trophy.

Evans leaves the red ball at the age of 34 after 73 first class appearances, in which he made six hundred and 18 fifty to finish with an average of 29.36.

“I have made the decision to focus the rest of my career on white ball cricket for a number of reasons,” Evans said in a statement. “First of all, I still have a burning ambition to play at international level. The chances of me doing that in Test cricket are over, but I still believe I could do a job for England in the white ball cricket and by focusing my efforts only on that, I can better develop my skills.

“Secondly, I believe it’s the best way for me to manage myself physically for years to come. I love my time at The Kia Oval and also the experiences I gain playing in franchise competitions at worldwide.

“Finally, I think this is the best move for Surrey County Cricket Club as it allows young players to gain experience in red ball cricket with me, I am stepping back completely. I would like to thank the club for their continued understanding and support.”

Evans’ contract with Surrey was due to expire at the end of the 2022 season but has now been extended for at least a year with the option of a further season.

He will, in theory, be available for Surrey in all white-ball cricket, but he is almost certain to be signed in the Hundred Draft at the end of March, meaning it misses the Royal London Cup and is only available in the T20 Blast. He has previously played in the Caribbean Premier League and his retirement from red ball cricket could open up new CPL opportunities.

Alec Stewart, Surrey’s cricket manager, said: “It’s not a choice I would advise a young player to make when he still has so much time left to achieve so much in the game.

“However, at this stage in Laurie’s career and having discussed it extensively with him, I fully understand and respect the decision he has made. I look forward to seeing him play T20 cricket for Surrey over the next few months. seasons.”

Surrey failed to qualify for the T20 Blast Round of 16 last season but are expected to compete this season. They have re-signed Chris Jordan from Sussex as captainwhile Dan Worrall, who regularly took the new ball for Adelaide Strikers in the BBL, signed as a local player and several England players – including Tom Curran, Sam Curran and Jason Roy – should be available for most of the group stages.