Marcus Hook’s Surrey CCC column: Full effect of the pandemic now taking effect off the pitch

BY MARCUS HOOK

The return of Hashim Amla, Rory Burns and Ben Foakes to the Surrey fold has created a new-found belief in terms of the batting.

But assuming the Currans will head off to the Indian Premier League at the conclusion of England’s ODI series with Australia, the only bowling reinforcements the South Londoners can count on are the return, following lay-offs, of veteran seamers Rikki Clarke and Liam Plunkett.

The loss of Gareth Batty, who has been brilliant in the Blast, to a pulled hamstring is yet another cross for Surrey’s attack to bear.

Batty has also been Surrey’s captain in the T20 in the absence of Jade Dernbach, who has not featured at all due to a groin injury.

But during Monday’s assured  30-run win over Middlesex at Lord’s – the Oval outfit’s fifth victory on the trot in all competitions – the off-spinner hobbled off having bowled just two of his four overs.

For all of Surrey’s problems this season, in terms of having 11 fit players at various stages, at least they have avoided being depleted even further by guys testing positive for Covid-19.

Fingers crossed it stays that way, but last week the Bob Willis Trophy game between Gloucester and Northants had to be abandoned, and the other night Yorkshire had to pull four players out of their T20 Roses clash with Lancashire due to coronavirus.

The full effect of pandemic is also starting to be seen off the pitch.

Surrey’s chief executive Richard Gould wrote to members this week to say that the club’s turnover in 2020 is likely to drop £30million, from £45m to £15m. As a result, a significant number of administrative roles are facing the axe.

Members have been asked to donate their fees for this year or apply for a 25 per cent refund.

Surrey have, however, said they will look kindly upon anyone suffering financial difficulties who applies for their membership fee to be returned in full.


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