Surrey have been rocked by the double blow of losing all-rounder Sean Abbott and left-arm seamer Reece Topley on the eve of the Vitality Blast, which gets underway this week.
The news comes on top of Ben Foakes’ hamstring injury, which will sideline Surrey’s first choice wicketkeeper for three months.
Abbott, who was one of the Oval outfit’s two overseas players, damaged a hamstring in the victory over Gloucestershire in County Championship and has now returned to Australia.
Topley, who took 15 wickets at 19.40 in last year’s Blast, has picked up a right side strain and will be out of action for at least a month.
Fast bowler Liam Plunkett is also struggling to be fit in time for Surrey’s opening T20 fixture, against Middlesex at Lord’s on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Surrey’s Rory Burns marked his recall to England’s Test side by hitting 132 against New Zealand.
“It’s always nice to contribute and it’s always nice to take the next opportunity you get given, and we needed those runs,” said Burns, who was dropped during England’s recent tour of India following a sequence of just 78 runs in 8 Test innings.
The fourth day at Lord’s started in the worst manner possible for England, with captain Joe Root departing to the very first ball. The hosts then endured a torrid opening hour, slipping from 111-2 overnight to 140-6.
But Burns stood firm and eventually found willing partners in the shape of Ollie Robinson and Jimmy Anderson, with whom he added 63 and 52 respectively.
“It was not the ideal start,” said Burns, who survived a straightforward stumping chance on 77 and was dropped in the slips on 88.
“I think New Zealand bowled really well, they dried it up quite a lot of the time, so it was a bit of a grind. To get to where we got to in the end made it quite a good day.
“Ollie came out and timed the ball really nicely. He’s probably a little bit disappointed in terms of how he got out. To put on 50-odd with Jimmy there down at the bottom I’m a little bit indebted to him, but I thought we dovetailed quite nicely.”
Reflecting international cricket’s rollercoaster ride, Burns added: “You get good balls. You try and make sense of it, but you try and stay level, because if you nick off and get dropped and you end up getting a hundred that’s the flip side of the game, so it’s a double-edged sword at times.
“In terms of highs and lows I try and stay pretty constant as an individual, and to be as consistent as I can be. I got back to Surrey and worked hard and it was good to get some scores and some form. It’s basically about trying to be consistent and do my thing really.”
Main Pic: Reece Topley
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