Alright, its not a very good effort, but headlines aren't my speciality. Zander de Bruyn, formerly of South Africa, Somerset and Worcestershire, and possessor of one of the most freakishly long necks in all of county cricket has signed a one year contract with Surrey as a kolpak player - he qualifies as a British citizen in 2012.
On the face of it he's not the most obvious of signings, but for a couple of reasons I think its quite a canny pick by Chris Adams and Co. Firstly he does have a solid, if unspectacular, track record in first class cricket - 10,000 runs at an average of 40 and a healthy List A average to go along with it. 800 division one runs, 550 CB40 runs and 300 Twenty20 runs in 2010 speaks of a reliable middle order performer. He can also turn his arm over to decent effect when required.
Secondly he will slot into a batting order shorn of the vast experience of Mark Ramprakash, his 170+ first class games will count double among such an inexperienced - albeit very promising - lineup. Finally we missed a middle order hitter in the limited overs games last season, particularly the CB40, Hamilton-Brown and Davies often gave us rapid starts but once we got into number 4, 5, 6 and 7 there was a distinct lack of power - hopefully de Bruyn will address that.
I think de Bruyn can be a real success at the Oval, but my track record in predicting the quality of signings is distinctly average, so we shall see. What is not in question though is the fact that our batting is well short of experience - too many times last season we collapsed and lacked application, hopefully the instalment of an experienced and quality player will help turn the tide.