There came shocking news straight from Surrey County Club! Their star player Sunil Narine has ruled himself out of the Vitality Blast Finals on Saturday inorder to make himself available for the inaugural MLC 2023. Notably, Narine was going to make a 9000-mile round trip from Dallas to Birmingham which he cancelled eventually to stay available for MLC.
Initially, as per the reports, Surrey was going to return back from MLC after finishing his commitments with LA Knight Riders to feature for Surrey Club, before returning to Dallas immediately after Finals Day at Edgbaston. However, the club clarified in its statement that he had been informed on Wednesday night about the change in Narine’s Plans. He has played to stay back in the USA to feature in MLC instead of returning to feature in County Club 2023. This means Surrey will have only one overseas player to feature in Saturday’s final in the face of Sean Abbott.
Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, said: “We were aware when we signed Sunil for the T20 Blast that he could be unavailable for Finals Day due to his pre-signed contract with the Knight Riders in the MLC.
“However, all of the subsequent conversations with the various parties since he arrived for the group games and leading into this week were that we would have him back for Saturday, so it’s disappointing and frustrating to lose a player of Sunil’s quality at such late notice.”
Can Steel could be a Replacement for Sunil Narine
As per ECB’s regulations, players need to be registered with the county club in the league stages of the County Championship 2023 to stay available for the knockout stages. So Surrey couldn’t bring an overseas replacement for Narine for the knockout stages of County Championship 2023.
Dan Moriarty who has played his first fixture of the Vitality T20 Blast 2023 & guided them to victory over Lancashire will retain his spot. Can Steel who is a prolific leg-spinning all-rounder would be Narine’s like-for-like replacement. While Dan Worrall and Jordan Clark may also come into contention.