North Devon cricketer Jamie Overton has been explaining the reasons behind his decision to quit Somerset and join Surrey next season.

Jamie Overton. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.Jamie Overton. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Jamie and twin Craig have been with Somerset for 10 years, first as academy prospects and latterly as strike bowlers in the first team,.

Craig, who is the older by a couple of minutes, has appeared in four Tests for England. Jamie is still waiting for his Test call-up and that’s part of his motivation for leaving Taunton at the end of the current season.

“I needed a fresh challenge to test myself and see how good I can be,” said Jamie.

“I’ve got high aspirations and I’m hoping that being here and working with all involved on and off the pitch I can achieve those dreams.”

Overton said leaving Somerset after nearly 10 years either in the academy or on the staff will be a wrench, but the time was right to move on.

“I’ve had a great nine years at the club and loved every minute of it, but I feel it is time for a fresh challenge in cricket,” said Overton.

“Somerset will always mean a huge deal to me, particularly the supporters who are exceptional.

“I would like to thank all the coaching staff for everything they have done for me and the opportunities I have received over my time at the club.”

Alec Stewart, the director of cricket at Surrey and a former England captain, dropped a big hint when he announced Jamie’s imminent arrival at the Kia Oval that the 26-year-old paceman still has Test aspirations.

“Jamie is a genuine quick bowler and his pace and bounce gives a real x-factor to his armoury,” said Stewart.

“His style of bowling will be well suited to The Kia Oval pitches. He has all the necessary attributes to play for England and we will be working hard to help him achieve that goal.”

Overton will move to Surrey in November on an initial contract that will run until the end of the 2023 season. He will wear the number 88 shirt for his new county.

He takes with him to Surrey nine years’ experience at county level 164 wickets in 64 First-Class appearances.

Jamie, born in Barnstaple and educated at West Buckland School, was playing adult cricket for North Devon CC by the age of 13.

The twins went through the Devon youth system together and were tracked from an early age by Somerset talent scouts.