Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown has described his side’s promotion into the LV= County Championship top flight as an “exciting leap into the unknown”.
The 24-year-old last season led the Brown Caps back into the first division after a three-year absence, with Surrey claiming eight wins to finish as second division runners up behind Middlesex.
Speaking at the club’s pre-season media day, Hamilton-Brown also announced a contract extension that will keep him at The Oval until at least 2014.
“Winning the double with Surrey last year was the greatest experience of my career so far and has given me even greater hunger to go on an achieve more within the game,” he said.
“I love playing here and, if I’m honest, I don’t ever see myself playing anywhere else. We have a special group of players and massive potential and it’s a great honour for me to lead them.”
Surrey team director Chris Adams said: “Every developing team needs strong leadership and Rory has given that to us many times over in the last two seasons.
“I am delighted that Rory has agreed to extend his contract with us. It allows the club to plan for the long term future and for Rory to continue his development as a captain and a cricketer as he looks to fulfil his ambition of playing at the highest level.”
In describing his excitement ahead of the forthcoming campaign, Hamilton-Brown added: “We all know there’s a huge challenge ahead of us as it’s been a massive ambition of this club to get back into the first division.
“We’ve made big strides in the winter by bringing in several quality players to improve the balance of the side. We have some youngsters still, though quite a few of them have played quite a lot of cricket now, but now we’ve added some outstanding senior players to the mix.
“I am excited but for a lot of our boys it will be like jumping into the unknown, although I am absolutely convinced we have the skills and the blend to compete in the first division.”
To add to the good news coming out of SE11, young England seamers Stuart Meaker and Jade Dernbach also announced contract extensions through to the end of 2014.
Adams said: “Both Jade and Stuart are key elements of what we’re trying to achieve at Surrey. They have both been at the club since a young age, shown continuous improvement and are now ready to take their game to the next level. Securing the long term futures of players of this calibre is vital to the club’s continued growth .”