At Middlesex Cricket’s End of Season Members’ Forum last night, the club announced that Ollie Rayner's contract will not be renewed and he will be leaving Middlesex after eight years at Lord’s.
Off-spinner Rayner, 33, leaves Middlesex after playing 170 games in all formats, having hit more than 2,500 runs, taken 242 wickets and bagged 170 catches.
He initially joined the club on loan from Sussex at the start of 2011 – a season in which he represented Middlesex in eight Championship matches – none of which the club lost. Rayner’s 266 runs at 53.2 and 11 wickets proved instrumental in the club securing promotion back into the top-flight of the Championship in his debut season.
A permanent move to Lord’s followed in 2012, where Rayner has continued to play a pivotal role since. None more so than in 2013 when he took the seventh best first-class bowling figures in the club’s history – 15 for 118 against Surrey at the Oval – also the best bowling return for a Middlesex player against Surrey.
In 2016 he again played a vital role in helping the club secure more silverware, when taking 51 wickets at an average of 23, as Middlesex lifted the County Championship trophy for the first time since 1993.
On Rayner’s departure from the club, Managing Director of Cricket, Angus Fraser, said:
“Since joining Middlesex from Sussex in 2011 Ollie has been one of the most popular players the club has had, both off and on the field. He and his family fully bought in to playing for Middlesex and London life, so failing to extend his contract was not pleasant. Off the field he had time for members and sponsors, going the extra yard to make them feel part of the club. On the field, in all areas of the game, he produced numerous memorable performances.
“With the bat he scored more than 2,500 runs in total, the highlight being an unbeaten 143 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge as night-watchman. In the field Ollie is the best 2nd slip I have seen, and I will remember a number of the breath-taking catches he has taken for the rest of my life. He made difficult catches seem easy. With ball in hand Ollie gave control but he could also be a match-winner, as he proved in 2016 when he played a pivotal role in Middlesex winning the County Championship. During that summer he took 51 wickets at an average of 23.56. There were other occasions where he starred too, especially at The Oval, where he took 15-118 against Surrey in 2013. In total, adding his wickets and catches together, Ollie was involved in more than 400 dismissals.
“Everybody at Middlesex Cricket thanks Ollie for his contribution to the Club over the course of the past nine seasons and wishes him well for the future. He and his family will always be welcome at Lord’s.”