By Kabir Singh Bhogal
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Surrey have signed former England allrounder Chris Lewis on a pay-as-you-play contract for this season's Twenty20 Cup.
Lewis, 40, has been playing regular club cricket since quitting the first-class game in 2000 and has impressed people with his hard-hitting batting and quick bowling at the death in outings for the PCA Masters.
"A few conversations were had at the end of the year," Lewis told Surrey TV, "and here I am. It's fantastic to be back at The Oval. Twenty20 was something I didn't get to play during my time, but it's something I've looked at and I think it's a pretty sensational form of the game."
Lewis, who has been involved in pre-season training with the Surrey side, has remained fit since retiring. "You ask yourself how your body's fixed and you realise everything's OK," he said. "I've had a bit of a slow start in the nets but it's starting to come together. I'm excited by the idea."
"People who know a bit about the game were saying this bloke is right up your street," said Surrey coach Alan Butcher. "Initially I didn't take it too seriously, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought, 'maybe it's not quite so mad'. Twenty20 is a young batsman's game but I'm not so convinced it's a young bowler's game. Experience counts for a lot."
Lewis's career was dogged by a tendency to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, but Butcher said that was all in the past. "My first impression of him has been very positive."
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