Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Roach hails title-winning Surrey

Published:Sunday | October 1, 2023 | 12:11 AM


LONG-SERVING WEST Indies pacer Kemar Roach heaped praise on the player management system of Surrey after the English county club were confirmed Division 1 first-class champions for the second year running.

The 35-year-old Barbadian took 26 wickets – the fifth highest for the club – at 26.26 runs apiece in the eight matches he played this season, and he said he looked forward to another opportunity to play for the club in the future.

“I love this club,” he said during a video interview appearing on the club’s website. “Obviously, I love the atmosphere. I love the people around the club. I think they do a fantastic job.

“The system, as I have said many times, it’s an amazing system, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t win every year.

“I thank the people in this club, and everyone that does their job, as well as they can. There’s a reason why we won the Championship for the last two years, so I’m happy to come back every chance I get… But yeah, I’m happy with the club.”

It was the 21st county championship title for Surrey, and the players learnt of the news while in the field on the third day of their final match of the season against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Will Jacks pulled out of delivering the fourth ball of the 24th over of the Hampshire second innings after the Surrey fans in the ground started cheering about 12:24 p.m., and he saluted the crowd before wider celebrations followed at lunch.

Essex, the only other contender for the title, were bowled out for under 400 at Wantage Road – and could no longer secure the bonus points needed to overtake Surrey.

On the field, Surrey were set 185 for victory after they bowled Hampshire out for 172 – with Roach ending with the peerless figures of 7-3-7-0 and Jacks toasting his maiden Surrey five-wicket haul.

The newly crowned champions were bowled out for 132 on a difficult pitch, Hampshire winning by 52 runs but the result hardly dulled the celebrations.