Recently retired Surrey all-rounder Rikki Clarke has stated that he had always seen himself becoming a one-county man.
The 40-year-old ended his 21-year professional career at the close of the 2021 season having spent the final four and half seasons back at The Kia Oval.
After originally coming through the Surrey academy to feature in the final years of the Adam Hollioake era, Clarke remained with Surrey until the end of the 2007 season. He then spent the 2008 year with Derbyshire before joining Warwickshire between 2009 and 2017.
Speaking in a recent lengthy interview with Mark Church at King Edward’s Witley, where he now works as Head of Cricket, Clarke emphasised his love of his original county club and his joy at returning to South London to end his professional years.
He said: “Alec Stewart always wanted me back. The minute I signed for Warwickshire it was always ‘When are you coming back? When are you coming back?’.
“It’s well documented that I didn’t want to leave Surrey. I always wanted to be a one county man, from the start to the end. Have a testimonial and in an ideal world a gate like Stewie’s got. It just didn’t work out that way so I always hoped that I’d go back but obviously Warwickshire were really good for me.”
“When Warwickshire were going in a different direction and looking to get rid of the old guard and start afresh, the first phone call was Stewie asking if I’m available. It worked out brilliantly.
“Then to come back and win a trophy and play a massive part in that was quite pleasing. Just to see what it meant for all the supporters because I’ve been associated with Surrey since the age of nine. It is home and it always will be home. It was pleasing to have that finale in my career.