Kemar Roach eyeing latest Surrey return in bid for County Championship title hat-trick

Happy: Kemar Roach insists he has been loving life at Surrey  (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
Happy: Kemar Roach insists he has been loving life at Surrey (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

Surrey seamer Kemar Roach has vowed to return to continue the club’s County Championship dominance, insisting: We can win it every year.

Gareth Batty’s side secured back-to-back titles on the penultimate day of the season on Thursday, after second-placed Essex collapsed to an innings defeat against relegated Northamptonshire to end their slim hopes of closing what had been a 20-point gap going into the final round of fixtures.

Roach has been part of a seam attack that has ripped through the division this term, despite missing England's Sam Curran and, more recently, Gus Atkinson for significant parts of the season.

Jordan Clark, Dan Worrall, Sean Abbott, Tom Lawes and Roach have taken 198 wickets between them, the West Indies great claiming 26 of those in eight matches at either end of the season.

The 35-year-old has enjoyed stints at The Oval around international commitments in each of the last three summers and is already eying a return next year.

“I love this club,” Roach said. “I love the atmosphere, I love the people around the club, I think they do a fantastic job. The system, as I’ve said many times, is an amazing system and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t win every year.

“I think people in this club and everyone that does their jobs as well as they can, that’s the reason why we’ve won the Championship for the last two years.

“I’m happy to come back every chance I get. That’s up to Mr [Alec] Stewart - but I’m very happy with the club.”

Surrey did not manage to round off their season in style, needing 73 runs with four wickets in hand to beat Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, after Will Jacks took his first Championship five-for on day three.

They ended up losing those last four batters for just 20 on Friday as they fell to a 52-run loss - only their second in the whole County Championship season.

Jacks had received special dispensation to come into the side mid-match following England’s ODI series against Ireland, replacing Lawes, who had already taken a first innings five-for.

There has already been criticism of that loophole, but Surrey director of cricket Stewart instead hit out at the scheduling of that series.

“[The ECB] still need to respect the County Championship,” he said. "Take these Ireland games - England didn't pick their first team, which was understandable because of the World Cup.

"But also to say that there was one game during round 13, then a game in between and then one game on the first day of this game. That to me is disrespectful to the county game.”