Ricky Ponting’s signed for Surrey. He also got fined the other day for throwing his bat after being dismissed. Mindlessly throwing the bat is how one or two Surrey batsmen approach first-class cricket, so he should fit in well.
About this time last year, there were a stack of articles about how exciting everything was at Surrey, about how they had all this young talent and how the glory days were about to return.
If Surrey do have some sort of ‘vision’ it is one where they keep placing fivers on the table until good players snatch them up and come and play for them.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach – in fact there’s little point having the money if you aren’t going to do anything with it – but it does make talk of ‘building a side’ and ‘investing in youth’ sound just a little bit hollow.
Yes, Surrey doubtless are coaching their youngsters hoping that they’ll become future greats, but they simply don’t have as much vested in this process as other counties because over the last year or so they’ve imported:
- Graeme Smith
- Ricky Ponting
- Kevin Pietersen
- Vikram Solanki
- Steven Davies
- Gareth Batty
- Jon Lewis
- Gary Keedy
- Chris Tremlett
Every county imports a few players, but the above isn’t a million miles away from being some sort of county superteam. Even with nine players.