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Surrey Promotion Could Reawaken Old Rivalry

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Surrey’s promotion to Division One of the County Championship could bring about the return of County Cricket’s two traditional powerhouses battling it out for the title.

Yorkshire are on the brink of a second successive Championship triumph, which will be their 33rd in total. They currently have an embarrassment of riches, having been the dominant team this season despite losing Joe Root, Gary Balance, Adil Rashid, Jonny Bairstow, Adam Lyth and Liam Plunkett to England. Young talent such as Alex Lees and Jack Leaning have continues to improve and international recognition may not be far away. Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan, former England players, have also put in strong performances to help them to the top of the table. For the past two years no team has been able to compete with Yorkshire, even with their star players missing.

But that could all be about to change.

For the past few years Surrey have been languishing in Division Two, an undignified position for the club with the resources and history they have. However, promotion has already been won this season and the Surrey faithful will have every reason to believe they can compete at the top end of Division One.

Kumar Sangakarra has now retired from international cricket and Sri Lanka’s loss will be Surrey’s gain. Sangakarra, widely regarded as one of the finest, if not the finest, players of his generation, has been a key component in helping Surrey gain promotion and the improved standard of Division One bowling will not phase him in the slightest. Like Yorkshire, Surrey also have an impressive amount of English talent. Jason Roy is starting to establish himself in the England limited overs set up, while Zafar Ansari isn’t far away from a call-up. The Curran brothers, Tom and Sam, are two exciting young bowling prospects and experienced spinner Gareth Batty looks like he has a few good seasons left in him yet.

This year’s County Championship has not been a vintage one. However, if Surrey can adjust quickly to life in Division One Yorkshire may have finally met a team who can challenge them for the title. Add to this a resurgent Nottinghamshire who have improved dramatically over recent months, next seasons Championship could prove to be a thrilling competition with three strong teams battling it out for the title.

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