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County Cricket

Plunkett to join Surrey at end of season

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Liam Plunkett has agreed to join Surrey at the end of the 2018 season after Yorkshire opted not to offer him a new contract.

The 33-year-old England fast bowler, who is in the final year of his contract at Headingley, has signed a three-year deal with his new county. He will join up with them in October.

Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said “We are trying to assemble a squad that has availability and is within our budget to compete in all three domestic competitions. With that in mind we are not in a position to be able to offer Liam a new contract.

“He has played a big part in our recent success and we obviously thank him for that and wish him well for the future.”

Plunkett has not played for Yorkshire in first-class cricket this year, and as a key part of England’s one-day squad will be focused primarily on the World Cup next summer, which is being hosted in England. He played 10 times for the county across all formats in 2017.

Plunkett said: “It’s disappointing that it has come to an end but it is incredibly exciting that I’ve got a chance to go to another really big club and hopefully win some more silverware with them. It’s bittersweet but a new chapter.

“Obviously Yorkshire took a chance on me after Durham and I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. I feel as though I’ve played some of my best cricket at Yorkshire, including getting myself back in to the England team. It has been amazing to meet some good friends – some best friends. I think some of the cricket we played, when we won some stuff, was some of the best I’ve been part of as a team unit.

“There comes a time in people’s careers where you don’t get offered a contract. Obviously, Yorkshire want to go in a different direction. I feel like I’ve met some really good people, made some fond memories and won some good trophies for an incredibly passionate club.

“I’m excited to be joining Surrey to start the next chapter of my cricketing career. It’s a huge opportunity and I hope to add my experience to a talented playing squad and coaching department to help Surrey win more silverware over the next three years.”

Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart said: “When a player of Liam’s ability and experience becomes available it makes perfect sense to sign him. Adding him to our squad gives us great options in all formats and we look forward to seeing him playing for Surrey over the coming years.”

Plunkett’s career was at a crossroads when Yorkshire head coach Jason Gillespie put his faith in him to secure his signature in 2012. He went on to win the County Championship with the White Rose in 2014 and 2015 – to add to his 2008 and 2009 triumphs with Durham – and has taken 98 first-class wickets for the county.

Plunkett took 36 ODI wickets in 2017, the joint second highest calendar-year haul, behind only Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan’s 45.

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