Surrey have announced a second major signing in the space of a week with Australia Twenty20 captain Aaron Finch set to join the club this summer.
Finch will replace veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara while the former Sri Lanka skipper is away at the Caribbean Premier League, which is due to start in July.
The 29-year-old opener is one of the most destructive batsmen in the world – highlighted by his Twenty20 world-record innings of 156 against England three years ago – and his signature comes after Surrey announced that West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo would join them for the NatWest T20 Blast this summer.
Finch will be available to play in all three formats and has first division experience having spent the past two seasons at county champions Yorkshire.
“This is a great opportunity for me and one I am very much looking forward to,” Finch said.
“To have the chance to play all forms of the game is a challenge I will relish, as I have ambitions to represent Australia in Test match cricket.
“I’m aware that Surrey have an exciting young squad and I hope I am able to add to their obvious talent.”
Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart added: “Securing a player of Aaron’s quality for such a busy period of red and white ball cricket is excellent news for the club and I’m confident we will see his qualities in all formats of the game.”
Finch is currently recovering from a hamstring injury that could yet rule him out of the World T20, which begins next month.
The World Cup winner suffered the problem during Australia’s 3-0 Twenty20 series defeat to India, although scans have revealed the problem is not as bad as the hamstring injury he suffered last year, which required surgery and delayed his arrival at Yorkshire.
“Although this current injury doesn’t require surgery there is a period of rehabilitation required before he can resume playing,” Cricket Australia’s sports science and sports medicine manager Alex Kountouris said.
“We are aiming to have Aaron fit for the ICC World T20 in India but will have better idea about his fitness for that tournament in the coming weeks once we see how he responds to treatment and a rehabilitation program.”
Finch had been top of the ICC’s T20 batting rankings, but the latest release this morning saw him relinquish his place to India’s Virat Kohli.