Golwalkar sends Surrey spinning down as Middlesex ensure top-flight status

Middlesex 404-5 dec Surrey 462-4
Match abandoned at 73 mins

It took Middlesex 100 minutes to break the partnership of Scott Newman and Mark Ramprakash, and claim the bonus point that secured their First Division status. Middlesex had shown no sign of panic - Surrey still needed to score a further 261 runs without losing a wicket to keep their remote hopes of salvation alive - but the relief was clearly visible when Ian Gould gave Newman out lbw.

Golwalker, Middlesex's fifth overseas player of the season, was mobbed by his team-mates when the Surrey opener missed a back-footed prod, and those supporters who had travelled from north of the river roared in approval as one of their old boys raised his finger.

Alan Butcher, who is Surrey's new coach, was talking to the media about what he hopes to achieve in the future as Newman forlornly made his way back to the players' pavilion here at the Oval. The loss of Newman's wicket did not change his appraisal of Surrey's position but it did alter the tense of his comments.

The first thing Surrey need to do is make changes to their playing staff. Their ageing squad is good enough to get them immediately out of the Second Division, but if this is attained using the same players then they are guilty of failing to address the problem.

Butcher suggested that making wholesale changes to the squad will not be easy because most of the current crop of players are on long-term contracts. Surrey are amongst the best payers in the country and at least 10 members of their staff would be earning in excess of £70,000 a season. Salaries of this size prohibit movement and it is hard to believe any of them would choose to go elsewhere at a reduced rate.

"It would be nice to get back in the First Division next year and develop one or two players along the way, but it will take two years before there can be any major changes to the playing personnel," admitted Butcher. "Going down highlights the fact that we do need to do something about the age profile of our side, and that we do need to improve the quality of our playing squad.

"We are top heavy with players in their mid-thirties age group and we do not have enough in the mid to late twenties. Therefore we have a big gap in experience. Some of the young players who look to be good enough are actually a little way off being ready to play and compete at first-team level. But if we can keep the players we have got fit, and we can get the right levels of professionalism, we do have the quality here."

Steve Rixon, who is Surrey's departing coach, also questioned the professionalism of the players, and this only serves to heighten the call for change. One can understand Butcher's reluctance to lambast players he will be working with next summer, but if old players are not performing, or setting the right example, they must go.

"I have already spoken to some of the players about their approach and they have accepted responsibility," he said diplomatically. "We need to do a lot of talking as a group. Over the last two years we have not done ourselves justice. The players have accepted this and we need to get back to the group/team ethos that we had five or six years ago.

"We need to return to a code that we are all prepared to live and play by. Some of these things have gone by the wayside in the last two or three years and we need to address them.

Mark Ramprakash is not one of the players whose future at Surrey is in doubt, and he completed the most meaningless of his 10 double hundreds against a Middlesex side that were guilty of going through less than the motions.

Suggested Topics
News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
i100
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Arts and Entertainment
A shared vision: Cerys Matthews has been familiarising herself with Dylan Thomas’s material, for a revealing radio programme
arts + entsA singer, her uncle and a special relationship with Dylan Thomas
News
In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
people
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years