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Surrey bring in Sean Abbott and Aaron Hardie for the T20 Blast


Surrey have taken a calculated gamble on their overseas signings for the T20 Blast, announcing on Wednesday that Australian seamer Sean Abbott will return to the club in May and June alongside compatriot Aaron Hardie.

Both Abbott and Hardie are on the fringes of Australia’s squad for the T20 World Cup, which clashes with the first month of Blast group games. Both players made appearances in their recent series win over West Indies, but neither features in Australia’s full-strength squad for their upcoming three-match series in New Zealand, which starts in Wellington next week.

Abbott enjoyed success in both the County Championship and the Blast last year, and his contract covers four Championship fixtures and eight T20s from May 10 until June 26. He will miss the end of the Blast’s group stages, and is expected to play Major League Cricket (MLC) instead.

“Sean is a highly skilled cricketer, and everyone saw last season what he is capable of in red-ball and white-ball cricket,” Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, said. “He had an outstanding impact as a cricketer and as a member of the dressing room… Sean is exactly what we look for in an overseas professional at this club.”

With Hardie’s deal announced last week, Surrey have filled both overseas spots for the first half of the Blast’s group stages and it appears increasingly unlikely that Sunil Narine will return to the club for the tournament this year. Narine has spent the last two seasons with Surrey but controversially missed Finals Day last year due to a clash with his commitments at MLC.

Their squad is certain to be affected by England’s T20 World Cup plans, with Gus Atkinson, Sam Curran, Will Jacks and Reece Topley highly likely to be involved and Tom Curran, Chris Jordan and Jamie Overton also in contention.


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