Team India captain Virat Kohli has signed a one-month deal with English county side Surrey ahead of India’s tour to England in July.
Kohli is set to feature in both the Royal London One Day Cup and the County Championship next month. He will be making his Surrey debut against Kent at Beckenham in the One-Day Cup on 1 June, before rounding off his stint in a four-day fixture at Scarborough against Yorkshire.
If Surrey qualifies from the group stage of the One-Day Cup, Kohli could play in the quarter-finals and potentially semi-finals in mid-June. The final of the competition is on 30 June, although Surrey has only confirmed he will play up to the Championship match against the Tykes.
However, this sensational coup implies that Kohli won’t be available for the historic one-off Test against Afghanistan, which will be played out in Bangalore.
After the confirmation of the deal, an upbeat Virat Kohli was quoted saying, “It has long been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I am thankful to Alec Stewart and Surrey for allowing me the opportunity to join them during their 2018 season. I can’t wait to get to the Kia Oval.”
Soon after the news was disclosed, cricketers, fans and cricket experts across the social media looked ecstatic with the signing.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Virat Kohli’s maiden County stint
— Ryan Sidebottom (@RyanSidebottom) May 3, 2018
Great for the county championship that Virat Kohli is making his way to Surrey for a month this season! Now that is a serious signing! There’s going to be some very lucky lads to learn off one of the best👏🙌 #Kohli #countycricket
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) May 3, 2018
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 3, 2018
Fair play to Virat Kohli .. in a time where some cricketers are reducing their red ball exposure.. the busiest cricketer on the planet is putting it first to prepare for a test series in England .. giving himself the best chance to succeed!!
— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) May 3, 2018
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) May 3, 2018
— Jade Dernbach (@Jwd_16) May 3, 2018
Huge news! Virat Kohli will play for Surrey in June ahead of our summer matches against India 🏴🇮🇳🏏
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) May 3, 2018
What…@imVkohli playing in June @surreycricket 👏🏿👏🏿 I know where I will be 😉 @StewieCricket you the man what a signing for the club & County cricket!! what a lesson for the young lads to learn off see how he goes about his business & prepares #Worldclass #differentgravy
— Alex Tudor (@alextudorcoach) May 3, 2018
— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) May 3, 2018
Sad to say that @surreycricket beat us to the signing of @imVkohli. For the record we offered the Whitnell's spare room, first in the line at tea, bat at 6 and can even turn his arm over if he wanted. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, but you are welcome down brambletrees anytime.
— Borstal Cricket Club (@BorstalCricket) May 3, 2018
There will doubtless be chuntering about giving Virat Kohli a tune up before the England series. But it's Virat Kohli. The biggest player on the planet. Huge coup for county game
— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) May 3, 2018
— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) May 3, 2018
— Michael Di Venuto (@MjDiVa5) May 3, 2018
Coup for Surrey to sign world cricket's biggest superstar – but. of course, it allows Virat Kohli to get used to conditions in England, where he has previously struggled, before India's tour.
— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) May 3, 2018
If someone doesn’t take Kohli to watch the boats sink on Peasholm Park lake I will be very disappointed.
— Elizabeth Ammon (@legsidelizzy) May 3, 2018
Virat Kohli will join Surrey for the month of June.
The run machine. pic.twitter.com/tlL3bsObIt
— Coral (@Coral) May 3, 2018
— Chris Nash (@chrisnash23) May 3, 2018
Really pleased to see @imVkohli taking extra red ball prep in the County Championship with @surreycricket. Performances in Test ckt still valued by players despite proliferation of T20 Lges. #cricket #india #Kohli
— Alison Mitchell (@AlisonMitchell) May 4, 2018