Stevie Eskinazi seeks loan deal after being dropped from Middlesex Championship side


Batsman was stand-in captain for first two rounds, but left out of squad following Peter Handscomb’s arrival

Stevie Eskinazi is looking for a short-term loan deal after being dropped from Middlesex’s County Championship side.

Eskinazi, 27, stood in as captain during defeats to Somerset and Hampshire in the first two rounds of games, but was left out of the squad for their win against Surrey following Peter Handscomb’s arrival from Australia. He has not been picked in a first-team squad since, with Middlesex opting to give 21-year-old Jack Davies a Championship debut in last week’s defeat to Hampshire instead.

He is now actively seeking opportunities elsewhere, and has been added to the loan list that is regularly circulated around the counties in the hope of playing some Championship cricket in the next three weeks.

Eskinazi’s contract expires at the end of the season, and he has been given permission to speak to other clubs before the usual date of June 1. ESPNcricinfo understands that Middlesex have offered him a one-year extension, but after a difficult start to the season for both himself and the club, he may look for opportunities elsewhere.

Eskinazi, who is England-qualified, enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2016, scoring 609 runs in nine appearances to help Middlesex win the Championship, but has struggled for form more recently, averaging 29.13 in first-class cricket since the start of 2019. He was the second-highest run-scorer in the T20 Blast last summer, and remains an important part of the club’s white-ball plans for the summer.

Middlesex have struggled for runs throughout the Championship season so far. They have the fewest runs per wicket (20.10) of any side in the country and find themselves four points off the bottom of Group Two, having played a game more than sixth-placed Leicestershire.

“It is tough to turn things around quickly and the game can kick you when you’re down, unfortunately,” Handscomb said after the defeat to Hampshire. “Hopefully we’re sort of one or two hits away from gelling as a batting unit and then we can get on a bit of a run. It’s obviously tough at the moment but the game can change pretty quickly.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98