As confirmed at last week’s End of Season Awards ceremony, Gareth Batty has retired as a professional cricketer more than 24 years after his first-class debut.
He will remain at Surrey as an Assistant Coach, working alongside Director of Cricket Alec Stewart, Head Coach Vikram Solanki and fellow Assistant Coach Richard Johnson.
Batty has played 377 matches in two spells with Surrey between 1998 – 2001 & 2009 to the end of 2021 and has taken 534 wickets for the Club across all formats. The off-spinner is the Club’s joint-leading wicket taker in T20 history alongside Jade Dernbach, with 114 wickets in the format.
He is also member of a rare group of players to have taken more than 1000 wickets and scored more than 10,000 runs across a professional career.
Batty was Club captain between 2015 & 2017, leading the Club back to Division One of the County Championship in his first season in the role and to three consecutive List A finals across his three years at the helm.
Since then, Batty has filled in regularly as a stand-in captain in T20 cricket and did the job throughout the 2020 season which saw Surrey end as Vitality Blast runners-up.
He has also been recognised on the international stage, playing 9 Tests and 10 ODIs for England. The bulk of his Test appearances came between 2003 and 2005 but he was recalled to the Test team for tours of Bangladesh & India as a 39-year-old in 2016.
Since 2019, Batty has remained a crucial part of the playing staff but has also taken on coaching responsibilities, working particularly closely with Amar Virdi, Daniel Moriarty & Will Jacks. He will continue that work now on a full-time basis as part of his wider remit as an Assistant Coach.
Batty said: “It’s been a privilege to have played the professional game for more than 20 years. I never took a moment of it for granted and I know how fortunate I am to have represented the teams I have.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has been involved in a highly enjoyable career; teammates, coaches, family, friends and fans.
“I’m now excited to start a new career at this great club and looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities that will bring.”
Surrey’s Director of Cricket Alec Stewart: “Batts should look back on his playing career with immense pride. He achieved so much in the game and has always given 100% commitment to every team he has represented. His knowledge and passion for the game is second to none which will be a great asset as he embarks on his coaching career.
“He will be missed in the dressing room for everything he has given as a captain and player, but I know that loyal and caring nature will now be transferred across into his coaching. As we congratulate him on all he has achieved as a player, we now look forward to him starting out on his coaching career which I have no doubts he will make a great success of. Cricket is in his blood and we’re very fortunate to have him at Surrey helping to develop and improve our players.”
Surrey Head Coach Vikram Solanki added: “There are few that have given as much of themselves to both the game and the teams they’ve played for than Gareth. Time and again, whether as player, captain or player/coach, he has put Surrey CCC ahead of himself when the club has needed him most. Fiercely competitive, totally committed and entirely selfless, Gareth epitomises what it is to be a professional sportsman in team environments.
“On a personal note I am grateful to have had the privilege to play alongside Gareth and look forward to working with him as a coach. He has a wealth of experience across all aspects of the game that will hugely benefit our squad.”