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Virat Kohli steps up preparations for England with shock move to Surrey

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

Surrey have confirmed that India captain Virat Kohli will play across all formats for the county throughout June.

The 29-year-old will step into Dean Elgar’s shoes once the South African leaves the Kia Oval at the end of May to join up with the Proteas, and Kohli cited his longheld desire to play on the county scene during his illustrious career.

Bringing the pedigree of 56 centuries to the 18-time County Championship winners, Kohli declared: “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.”

Set to lead his nation against England and Joe Root in an 11-match tour, comprising three T20 internationals, three ODIs and a mega five-Test series to finish, Kohli will begin his summer with a county who didn’t hold back in expressing their delight.

Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, said: “We are thrilled to have signed the biggest name in world cricket for the month of June.

“Playing and training alongside Virat will be a massive benefit for our players who will have the opportunity to learn so much from him.

“At a time when there is much discussion around the future of county cricket, the arrival of Virat should give our domestic game a massive boost and positive exposure around the cricketing world which in turn can benefit every county.”

Hoping to end a barren 18-year wait for a County Championship crown, Kohli will display his talents at the Ageas Bowl, Guildford, and at Scarborough in his last match for Surrey against Yorkshire before joining up with the India national side in July.

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