Lyon rested, Abbott named by Surrey for red-ball return

Australia Test spinner to miss Lancashire's trip to Trent Bridge under club's agreement with Cricket Australia

Sean Abbott is set to play his first red-ball match in almost a year after being named by Surrey in their 13-player squad to face Warwickshire beginning tonight Australian time.

Abbott has joined the south London county for his two-month stint of four-day and T20 Blast cricket, returning after a stellar 2023 campaign that included 37 red-ball wickets in nine matches to help Surrey claim back-to-back division one championships.

He also took 10 T20 scalps and slammed an incredible 41-ball unbeaten 110 in a T20 match against Kent.

The Australian allrounder hasn't played a first-class match since collecting seven wickets at Lord's in Surrey's clash with Middlesex in July last year, with his international commitments as part of the 50-over World Cup squad preventing him from turning out for NSW during the first half of the 2023-24 season.

The 32-year-old then picked up a shoulder injury in the first T20 international against the West Indies in February and missed the rest of the summer.

Abbott in action for Surrey in the T20 Blast last year // Getty

But he's set for an extended block of T20 cricket with Surrey after the KFC BBL's all-time leading wicket-taker was overlooked for Australia's T20 World Cup squad in favour of skilled death bowler Nathan Ellis.

It puts Abbott in a good position with a short flight across the Atlantic should injury strike the Aussie camp during the tournament and they need to call in fast bowling reinforcements.

Abbott will get three red-ball opportunities with Surrey before their T20 Blast campaign gets underway on May 30 with the club to host Worcestershire at The Oval next weekend before travelling to Southampton to face Hampshire the following weekend.

There is also another two County Championship rounds in June during Abbott's time with the club.

"I love playing red-ball cricket, it's my favourite format, I just love the four-day grind with the lads, the ups and downs," he said on his return to Surrey this week.

"I just really enjoyed myself last year, it was nice to play some good cricket.

"I was obviously here for most of the season and it's been one of the more enjoyable periods of my career.

"I felt like I learnt a lot last year but basically just being around the group is the reason why I expressed my interest in coming back and I'm very grateful that Surrey have opened their arms and wanted me back.

"It's nice to have some success as well, we're defending champions again this year."

Abbott will be joined by Brisbane Heat quick Spencer Johnson for Surrey's T20 Blast campaign after the club announced the signing of the left-armer earlier this week.

The 28-year-old, who is currently with the Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League, will be available for Surrey's first eight T20 fixtures, helping the club cover the loss of Sam Curran, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan and Reece Topley, who have all been picked in England's World Cup squad.

"I'm very excited to join Surrey and I have some fantastic memories from playing at The Oval (in the Hundred) last year. Surrey have a great squad and I can't wait to contribute with the ball in front of the packed out crowds in south London," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon has been rested for Lancashire's trip to Trent Bridge this weekend as part of the club's agreement with Cricket Australia to manage the off-spinner's workloads.

Lyon was required to sit out two of Lancashire's first nine matches, and with Tom Hartley set to join England's T20 squad following this weekend's fixture, the club has decided their clash with Nottinghamshire is the ideal match for the 36-year-old to miss.

Lancashire are yet to record a win in four matches this season with Lyon their standout bowler with 12 wickets at 26.91.

Evergreen seamer Peter Siddle has been named by Durham for their trip to Southampton to face Hampshire after replacing fellow Victorian Scott Boland, whose stint with the county was cut short by a heel injury.

2024 Division One County Championship standings

Matches played
No results
Batting Bonus
Bowling Bonus
Total points
1 Surrey Surrey SRY 7 4 1 2 0 0 16 19 115
2 Essex Essex ESS 7 4 1 2 0 0 15 18 113
3 Somerset Somerset SOM 7 2 1 4 0 0 16 19 99
4 Hampshire Hampshire HAM 7 2 1 3 1 2 10 13 85
5 Durham Durham DUR 7 2 1 3 1 1 9 11 83
6 Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire NOT 7 1 2 4 0 0 11 20 79
7 Warwickshire Warwickshire WAR 7 0 2 5 0 0 19 18 77
8 Worcestershire Worcestershire WOR 7 0 2 5 0 0 13 17 70
9 Lancashire Lancashire LAN 7 1 3 3 0 0 8 16 64
10 Kent Kent KEN 7 1 3 3 0 0 7 14 61

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

D: Drawn

N/R: No results

Ded.: Deductions

Bat: Batting Bonus

Bowl: Bowling Bonus

PTS: Total points

Australians in the 2024 County Championship

Durham: Ben Dwarshuis, Ashton Turner (both T20s only)

Essex: Daniel Sams (T20s only)

Glamorgan: Marnus Labuschagne

Gloucestershire: Cameron Bancroft, Beau Webster

Hampshire: Michael Neser, Ben McDermott (T20s only)

Kent: Wes Agar, Charlie Stobo, Xavier Bartlett (T20s only)

Lancashire: Nathan Lyon, Chris Green (T20s only)

Leicestershire: Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris

Northamptonshire: Chris Tremain

Somerset: Matthew Renshaw

Surrey: Sean Abbott, Spencer Johnson (T20s only)

Sussex: Nathan McAndrew, Daniel Hughes