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Solanki to make Surrey switch for 2013
Vikram Solanki is to leave Worcestershire at the end of the 2012 season and will join Surrey on a two-year contract. Solanki, the former England limited-overs player and former Worcestershire captain, made his first team debut in 1993 but, after 20 years with the club, is out of contract at the end of this season and was recently given permission to talk to other counties.
Solanki's attraction to Surrey is obvious. The club have recently lost three of their first-choice batsmen: Tom Maynard, to a tragic accident; the club captain and Maynard's flatmate, Rory Hamilton-Brown, to long-term compassionate leave; and Mark Ramprakash to retirement. Solanki's class as a batsman - he has scored over 16,000 first-class runs - and his leadership ability will both prove of value to a club currently struggling to regain equilibrium after a chastening few weeks.
There may be some raised eyebrows at the signing. Solanki is 36 years old and is averaging just 26 in this Championship season. But he enjoyed an excellent 2011, scoring more than 1,100 runs at an average in excess of 40, while he remains an effective top-order player in limited-overs cricket. He is averaging in excess of 40 in List A cricket this season.
His departure will also cause some consternation at New Road. Always a popular player, many at Worcestershire wanted to retain Solanki's services but, at a club where finance remains an on-going issue, the cost of such an experienced cricketer's salary was a significant factor.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo