Test Match Sofa
Keedy leaves Lancashire to join Surrey
By Graham Hardcastle
Lancashire's veteran left-arm spinner Gary Keedy has moved south to sign a two-year contract with Surrey, the county who denied the Red Rose a place in the LV= County Championship's Division One for 2013.
The 37-year-old has brought to an end his successful 18-year stay at Old Trafford, which brought him over 800 wickets in all competitions for the county.
Born in Wakefield and having started his career at Yorkshire, he is widely regarded as one of the best county cricketers never to have played for England. But he has fallen behind England Lions left-armer Simon Kerrigan in the pecking order with the relegated Red Rose county.
Keedy, in the latter stages of a physiotherapy degree, turned down a three-year contract at Warwickshire last winter to sign a two-year extension with Lancashire, citing being settled in the county with his family as one of the reasons.
The move will be good news for left-arm spinner Stephen Parry, who played the last of his three first-class matches for Lancashire in 2009. Having impressed in one-day cricket, Parry is now expected to get the opportunity to step up to become Lancashire's second spinner, while they have just handed off-spinner Arron Lilley his first professional deal.
Keedy said: “I have had a fantastic 18 seasons at Lancashire, and would like to thank all the players, staff and members there for everything they have done for me.
“Winning the County Championship in 2011 was an incredible moment for both the club and myself, and one that will stay with me forever. Working with Simon Kerrigan and Steve Parry over the last few years has been very rewarding. I feel they can go forward and play a big role for Lancashire in the future.
“However, I have reached the time in my career when I need to move on in order to fulfil my ambitions. I am very excited to be joining Surrey at this time. They are a great club with a long history and an exciting future, and I am really looking to playing my part over the next few seasons.”
Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson added: "Gary has been a fantastic servant to Lancashire over many seasons, both on and off the field.
"Gary asked our permission to look at other options, and he goes with our best wishes. We would like to thank him for his outstanding service to the club. We wish him well with his future endeavours.”
Keedy will join fellow Yorkshireman Gareth Batty as a senior spinner at the Oval, where he will also mentor youngsters Zafar Ansari and Freddie van den Bergh, two highly-promising left-arm spinners.
Surrey team director Chris Adams added: “Gary Keedy has been one of the leading bowlers in county cricket for over a decade, and I am delighted he will be joining us for the next two seasons.
“As well as his fantastic ability with the ball, he will play a valuable role in the dressing room throughout the year – helping to impart his experience to the younger members of our squad.”
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