All-rounder Scott Borthwick insists that “cricketing reasons” are behind his move from Durham to Surrey.
The Wearsider helped Durham clinch survival by beating Surrey in his final home match yesterday, and admitted to “mixed emotions” over his impending switch to the Oval, a ground which he believes can only help him develop his game.
Borthwick, who hopes to add to his one Test appearance for England, said: “It’s mixed emotions.
“Obviously it’s a massive decision for me. It took a long time to make.
“I’m sad to leave but massively excited about my future.
“I’m a Sunderland lad and played for Durham since the age of 10 or 11, so it’s obviously a massive call.
“I thought the right decision to leave for cricketing reasons – playing at the Oval would suit my game, being a leg-spinner and batter.
“The club have been fantastic to me down the years, a massive help to me.”
On yesterday’s victory to guarantee safety, Borthwick hailed the impact of Ben Stokes, who grabbed four wickets in a blistering afternoon stint to deny the visitors what looked a likely win.
Borthwick said: “The lads were firing to go at teatime. That was the plan to go hard.
“Stokesy’s a fantastic competitor. When he knows he can win a game you can never get the ball out of his hand.
“Whenever he sniffs out a win, he’s fantastic and he doesn’t give up. He deserved four wickets, but he could easily have got five, six or seven.
“Obviously we pushed really hard. I thought the weather came out at a good time for them and probably made it a bit harder for us, but we bowled pretty well, especially in the last session.”