Laurie Evans has decided to retire from red-ball cricket after extending his contract with Surrey to include solely white-ball cricket. Evans re-joined Surrey on an all-formats deal in 2020 after three seasons with Sussex, and in his second tenure at The Oval, he has played five first-class matches, including two in the County Championship last summer.
He originally joined Sussex to play more first-class cricket after battling for regular first-team opportunities at Warwickshire, but after ending the Blast as the competition’s highest run-scorer in 2018, he has become a sought-after T20 hitter across the world.
Evans’ contract with Surrey was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2022 season, but it has been extended for at least another year, with the possibility of a third.
He has also extended his contract, which was set to expire later this year, and will now stay at The Kia Oval until at least the end of the 2023 season, with a one-year option.
Evans was an integral part of Surrey’s journey to the Vitality Blast final in 2020, and he has since won the Big Bash League with the Perth Scorchers. He was named player-of-the-match in the Big Bash final, as he helped Perth Scorchers defeat Sydney Sixers to win the title. During his career, he has also represented Pakistan in the Pakistan Super League, Caribbean Premier League, Bangladesh Premier League, Lanka Premier League, The Hundred, and the Abu Dhabi T10 League.
On his decision, Evans said: “I have made the decision to focus the remainder of my career on white-ball cricket for a number of reasons. Firstly, I still have a burning ambition to play at the international level. The chances of me doing this in Test cricket are gone but I still believe that I could do a job for England in white-ball cricket and by focusing my efforts purely on this, I can best develop my skills further.
“Secondly, I believe this is the best way for me to manage myself physically over the coming years. I am loving my time at the Kia Oval and also the experiences I am getting from playing in franchise competitions around the world.
“Finally, I believe this is the best decision for Surrey County Cricket Club as it allows younger players to gain experience in red-ball cricket with me stepping aside fully. I would like to thank the Club for their continued understanding and support.”
Director of Cricket Alec Stewart said: “This is not a choice I would advise any younger player to make while there is still plenty of time for them to achieve so much in the game. However, at this stage of Laurie’s career and after discussing it at length with him, I fully understand and respect the decision he has made. I look forward to seeing him perform in white-ball cricket for Surrey over the coming seasons.”
Evans retires from red-ball cricket at the age of 34, having struck six hundreds and 18 fifties in 73 first-class outings with an average of 29.36.
In principle, he will be available for all white-ball cricket for Surrey, but he is virtually expected to be signed in the Hundred draught at the end of March, meaning he will miss the Royal London Cup and will only be available in the T20 Blast.