Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Surrey’s director of cricket Alec Stewart has insisted that captain Graeme Smith will not be leaving the club after he returned to South Africa to undergo surgery on his fractured knee.
Smith, who used to be South Africa’s Test captain, is in the second year of his three-year deal with Surrey. However, things just don’t seem to be going his way as in the first year, Smith underwent surgery on his ankle and missed a majority of the county season.
The rumours of Smith leaving Surrey started when he tweeted: “It’s been a privilege to be a part of @surreycricket and thank everyone at the club!” before going on to say “Injuries are always tough especially when you feel job is half done. Sad to be leaving @surreycricket today but wish the club and team well.”
“I had a good chat with him last night,” Stewart told ESPNcricinfo. “Where he is, he’s thoroughly enjoyed his time with Surrey, despite it being two very brief periods over the last two years. He’s still under contract for next year – it’s a three year deal that he has signed.
“After seeing his knee specialist, he will find out exactly what the way forward is and, from there, whether he’ll be out for a matter of weeks or months. As soon as we have more information, from the damage to the knee, we’ll be in a better position to say if he is coming back or not. I would have thought it was doubtful.”
Stewart also revealed that Surrey are now searching for an overseas player to replace Smith, even though South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has agreed to join the club for a month.
“We’ll look at options and decide if there is one that will enhance our squad,” Steward said. “If there isn’t anyone we feel would better the squad, then we won’t sign one. All that will be looked at over the next four weeks.”