As Kieron Pollard and his Trinidadian countryman Sunil Narine prepare to join Surrey’s T20 campaign, we look back through the last 20 years to select an all-time XI of Surrey overseas stars from the T20 era.
1. Aaron Finch (c)
Right-hand bat; left-arm orthodox
Surrey record: 41 matches (2016-2019); 1,735 runs at 52.5
Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup-winning captain enjoyed a stunning run in Surrey colours, forming a formidable opening partnership with Jason Roy and hitting four tons and nine fifties for the club. His best of 131* against Sussex at Hove in 2018 was classic Finch: 10 fours, seven sixes, and all delivered in just 79 balls. In all he has posted eight career T20 hundreds – joint-second only to Chris Gayle, who has a whopping 22 to his name.
2. Hashim Amla
Surrey record: 13 matches (2014 & 2020-2021); 435 runs at 39.54
A stylist on and off the pitch, Surrey’s unassuming icon has enjoyed two stints with the club and on both occasions enjoyed great success with the bat, making four red-ball tons to date along with four fifties in his outings in T20 cricket. Often associated with red-ball brilliance – he made a serene triple century in a Test match at The Kia Oval – Amla was also a prolific white-ball run-scorer for South Africa, the quickest to register 3,000 ODI runs in history, compiled from just 57 innings.
3. Kumar Sangakkara (wk)
Left-hand bat; wicketkeeper
Surrey record: 21 matches (2015-2017); 679 runs at 33.9
One of the most successful overseas stars to ever play for the club, ‘King Kumar’ was a truly inspirational figure who left a deep legacy on the dressing room after his departure in the autumn of 2017. In Championship cricket he was imperious, stroking 14 hundreds and 10 fifties in 33 games, while he had some memorable moments in white-ball cricket too, including four fifties at T20 level and an unforgettable unbeaten 130 against Northamptonshire to see Surrey home nine wickets down in the quarter-final of the 2016 50-Over Cup. In our fantasy XI, Sanga – who captained Sri Lanka to the Twenty20 World Cup title in 2014 – bats No.3 and keeps wicket.
4. Glenn Maxwell
Right-hand bat; off-spin bowler
Surrey record: 8 matches (2013); 142 runs at 18; 1 wicket at 57
The hard-hitting Aussie all-rounder has been one of the star attractions on the global T20 circuit over the last decade with his outrageous strokeplay and spectacular feats in the field. Maxwell dropped in for a season at The Kia Oval in 2013, a year after making his international debut, and he helped Surrey progress to the quarter-finals – his standout performance coming in a 31-run victory over Kent when he blitzed 32 from 18 balls at Canterbury.
5. Andrew Symonds
Right-hand bat; off-spin and medium-fast bowler
Surrey record: 15 matches (2010); 263 runs at 20; 12 wickets at 25
The cricket world was left in shock on 14 May when the tragic news came through that Andrew Symonds had been killed in a single-vehicle car crash in Queensland, aged just 46. A box-office cricketer and fan favourite wherever he went in his career, Surrey were privileged to have the Australian international on their books during the 2010 campaign and in his 15 matches with the club he produced two memorable half-centuries. He also returned his career-best T20 figures during his time with Surrey, taking 5/18 against his former county Kent.
6. Azhar Mahmood
Right-hand bat; right-arm medium-fast
Surrey record: 75 matches (2003-16); 1,176 runs at 26; 82 wickets at 24
A Surrey T20 legend whose wicket haul for the club is only surpassed by Jade Dernbach and Gareth Batty, Azhar is now back at his adopted his home in South London as assistant coach. A much-loved figure at The Kia Oval, the former Pakistani all-rounder was instrumental in helping Surrey win the inaugural tournament in 2003, claiming the crucial wicket of Ian Bell against Warwickshire in the final having taken 3/28 the semi-final win over Gloucestershire. Only Surrey’s captain Adam Hollioake took more wickets than Azhar in the 2003 campaign and he was welcomed back with open arms in later years, playing his last match for the club – which was also the last match of his career – in 2016.
7. Harbhajan Singh
Right-hand bat; off-spin bowler
Surrey record: 8 matches (2005); 11 runs at 6; 4 wickets at 38
The Indian off-break bowler has gone on to play more than 250 matches in the T20 format and it all began at Surrey. A 24-year-old Harbhajan made his T20 debut during his spell with Surrey in 2005, sharing overseas duties with Azhar Mahmood and forming an effective spin partnership with Nayan Doshi which strangled the opposition in the middle overs. A legend of Indian cricket with more than 700 international wickets to his name, he was still turning his arm over for Kolkata Knight Riders in last year’s Indian Premier League.
8. Morne Morkel
Right-arm fast bowler; left-hand bat
Surrey record: 9 matches (2018); 12 wickets at 26.6; 7 runs at 3.5
A ferocious proposition across all formats during his two-year stint at Surrey, but while the hugely popular quick tended to save his best work for red-ball cricket, spearheading Surrey’s Championship win in 2018 with 63 wickets at 14.39, he was often devastating with the white ball on his day. Prime Morne was one of the world’s most feared fast bowlers who loved bowling at The Kia Oval, and he takes the new ball in this team.
9. Saqlain Mushtaq
Off-spin bowler; right-hand bat
Surrey record: 5 matches (2003); 10 wickets at 15.1; 19 runs at 6.3
He may have played just five short-format matches for Surrey but Saqlain’s name is etched in the club’s T20 history, as the wily mystery spinner who helped the club win the first iteration of the tournament in 2003. Beyond that summer, he is remembered as one of the club’s most cherished imports, who joined in 1997 to partner up with fellow spinner Ian Salisbury as captain Adam Hollioake formulated a strategy for Championship domination. Saqlain, who spoke little English when he joined but who would immerse himself in the club’s culture to become one of its favourite sons, took 424 first-class wickets in all for Surrey, winning the title in 1999 and 2000.
10. Dirk Nannes
Australia & The Netherlands
Left-arm fast bowler; right-hand bat
Surrey record: 24 matches (2011-2014); 23 wickets at 25.4; 2 runs
A well-travelled gun-for-hire and immensely popular dressing room presence, Nannes brings variety to our attack as a left-arm fast bowler capable of hitting 90mph on his day.
11. Imran Tahir
Right-arm leg-spinner; right-hand bat
Surrey record: 13 matches (2019); 19 wickets at 20.26; 17 runs at 8.5
A box-office leg-spinner who radiated joy whenever he stepped on the pitch, he lit up Kennington in his only season with the club, taking 19 wickets across the campaign. He professed to love bowling at The Kia Oval, and took the first wicket of the 2019 World Cup at the ground when he removed Jonny Bairstow in the tournament’s opening over. He is one of only three bowlers to take more than 450 T20 domestic wickets and he’s still going strong, turning out for the Multan Sultans in the PSL, and making history last season by becoming the first bowler to take a hat-trick in The Hundred.