Surrey’s cricket manager Chris Adams admits that signing a mystery spinner has once again proved to be his winter nemesis, but otherwise he is more than happy with the close-season business conducted in SE11.
The wage bill has been pruned with the departures of Andre Nel, Usman Afzaal and one-time captain Stewart Walters, who have been replaced by players of a proven temperament.
Adams said: “We’ve let players go, those who I felt that, for one reason or another, their time had come to an end at Surrey.
“The toughest part of that is sitting in front of people like Laurie Evans and Stewart Walters and telling them they’re moving on, but the benefit is you create space for youngsters to come on the staff and the six we’ve taken into the Academy.
“We’ve recruited well by signing two senior players in Yasir Arafat and Zander de Bruyn, players from whom we know exactly what we’ll get and, in Tom Maynard, an exciting young talent.”
Adams readily admits that although Maynard was on his radar, he had no designs on signing the Cardiff-born right-hander, who has just turned 22.
“We hadn’t planned on bringing Tom here,” conceded Adams, “but he expressed a desire to come and play for Surrey and once we’d chatted we felt he was right for us. He’s at the right age and undoubtedly has the talent. It seemed the right fit, a good decision and I’m very pleased.”
Having suffered an on-off saga in trying to sign Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla last season, Surrey were keen to recruit a similar type for 2011, but once again Adams has been frustrated.
“Obviously a left-arm spinner, or leg-spinner, was high on my wish list, but I don’t think they grow on trees or, if they do, I haven’t found the right tree yet!” quipped Adams.
“We’ve known for some time that that sort of spinner would complement our entire squad. But sometimes you can’t always have what you want and if that’s the only component part we’re missing this summer, then so be it.
“It’s not as if our cupboard’s bare in the spin department, as we have Gareth Batty as our senior pro and frontline off-spinner in four-day cricket. Chris Schofield will act as his No 2 and come in for the one-day games, and then we also have young Simon King, who looks very promising.”