Surrey hoping to complete a deal to sign Virat Kohli instead of David Warner or Steve Smith

Virat Kohli County Cricket, Steve Smith County Cricket, David Warner County Cricket
Image Credit - Times of India
  • Virat Kohli County Cricket campaign is well on it’s way to take off, with the Surrey team interested in roping in the Team India captain for a month in June
  • While there have been reports connecting Surrey and the recently banned Australia duo of Smith & Warner, Steve Smith County Cricket and David Warner County Cricket chances seem unlikely, with a ban in place by Cricket Australia

In a period when there has been an evident and ever-increasing flux of players in and out of the English County cricket, the Surrey side has reportedly become interested in a move to hire the Australian duo of Steve Smith and David Warner, who were recently caught in a ball-tampering controversy during a Test series between South Africa and Australia. However, Surrey’s main target for the ongoing and upcoming season fixtures is Team India captain Virat Kohli. While Virat Kohli County Cricket campaign is well on it’s way to take off, Steve Smith County Cricket and David Warner County Cricket chances seem unlikely.

As reported by the Telegraph, former Australian cricketer Michael Di Venuto gave his opinion on whether the recently-disgraced Australian duo, i.e. Steve Smith and David Warner, should be allowed to play County Cricket while being banned by Cricket Australia.

Virat Kohli is Surrey’s main target for June

While the reports have been weak if there has been an official approach by Surrey to rope in Smith and Warner, what is confirmed is the fact that for Surrey, signing Virat Kohli remains the main target of director of cricket Alec Stewart, who is hoping for the Indian run-machine to join them for a month in June, before India’s Test series against England. Now while it is not confirmed if David Warner County Cricket or Steve Smith County Cricket campaigns would take off, Virat Kohli County Cricket campaign is something which is in the making behind England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) closed doors.

Surrey have already signed South Africa opener Dean Elgar for the first two months of the season as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh, who suffered an ankle surgery and pulled out of the competition. Surrey are also hopeful that Australia’s Mitchell Marsh may appear for the later half of the season, but if that does not happen, they have a backup signed in Aaron Finch for the T20 Blast, and will definitely extend the batsman’s deal to cover four-day cricket.

Di Venuto is close to both Steve Smith and David Warner, and is one of many former Australia players who feel they have been treated a bit too harshly for the ball tampering scandal. Both the Australian mainstays have been suspended for a year by Cricket Australia, a ban that the ECB is willing to extend to county cricket, as well, but only if asked to do so by the Australian cricket board. As reported by the Telegraph, Di Venuto said,

“From an Australian perspective, it is probably important that they play a bit of cricket at some stage. I don’t know if they are allowed to play in this competition. I know it states in their sanctions that they can’t play domestic cricket in Australia. If they are in the right mental state to play cricket, and the ECB will have to allow it to start with, then we’d be mad not to look at some of the world’s best players potentially playing.”

In conclusion, it is clear that Surrey have held no talks with Smith and Warner, as they believe that there is little chance of the ECB allowing them to play county cricket while banned by Australia.

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Watch: Team India Pacer Ishant Sharma’s interview with his County Cricket side, Sussex

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