Lewis set for Twenty20 return


Former England all-rounder Chris Lewis is to come out of retirement to play Twenty20 cricket for Surrey this season, the Oval-based county announced on Monday.
The 40-year-old, who retired from first-class cricket in 2000, started and finished his first-class career with Leicestershire but did have a brief spell with Surrey in the late 1990s.
Surrey cricket manager Alan Butcher said he was confident Lewis would be fit enough for the demands of Twenty20, where the emphasis is on playing an all-action game.
“Lewis has remained extremely fit and could play a vital role in Surrey’s Twenty20 campaign as an all-rounder,” Butcher said in a statement.
“Having Chris in the squad is a huge plus, especially when you combine the facts of us losing two all-rounders (Azhar Mahmood and Rikki Clarke) from last season.”
This season’s domestic Twenty20 is a particularly enticing target for English counties with the champions having a chance to take the one million pounds (two million dollars) on offer in the proposed ‘champion of champions’ international tournament in India in September.
“I believe Chris Lewis can help us be very competitive in that aim,” former England batsman Butcher said.
“He ticks boxes on many levels: he’s an all rounder who is still a brilliant fielder; he does not require a full-time, long-term contract as a young Kolpak player would – and therefore first-team opportunities will still be available for our young players throughout the season.”
Pace-bowler Lewis, a hard-hitting batsman and outstanding fielder, played in 32 Tests and 53 one-day internationals.
He was widely regarded as one of the most talented England cricketers of his generation. But his career didn’t do justice to his ability, with incidents such as turning up late to practice because of a flat tyre and shaving his head and then getting sunstroke not endearing him to the England management.
Lewis, found himself enmeshed in further controversy when, in 1999, it was revealed he’d passed on to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) the names of three England cricketers allegedly involved in match-fixing.
Surrey begin their Twenty20 season against Essex at The Oval on June 11.
-AFP