Reece Topley is set to sign for Surrey on a two-year deal.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Topley, the 25-year-old left-arm swing bowler, will have a medical at The Oval next week. It is also understood he has been the subject of interest from several other counties.
Sussex were disappointed that he rejected their offer to renew his contract, and released a statement which made reference to the fact the club’s medical and coaching staff had helped him back to fitness before he had signed for them. He was the club’s leading wicket-taker in the Blast, and took six wickets in two end-of-season Championship games.
Topley will be viewed primarily as a T20 specialist at Surrey, though he could be used in the first-class side if required. He is also likely to be picked in The Hundred’s inaugural draft next Sunday (October 20).
If Topley’s signing is completed it would make Surrey the fourth county of his injury-blighted career. A series of stress fractures to the lower back have caused long injury absences but there are hopes that an operation performed during 2018 has delivered a long-term solution. Earlier fractures were treated with rest and gym work.
Topley’s attraction to any teams are pretty obvious. A tall, left-arm bowler blessed with good skills and the ability to swing the ball, he looked set for a permanent role in England’s white-ball squads before injury intervened. It remains possible he could yet feature in the England Lions squad over the winter.
His choice of Surrey is intriguing. A strong, deep squad could create selection issues at times, but may also ensure he is not over-bowled. And, rightly or wrongly, he may have reasoned that performances at The Oval are more likely to capture the attention of the media and selectors.