Fast bowler Kemar Roach is heading back to Surrey as they prepare to retain the LV County Championship title.

The 34-year-old, who has played 74 Tests for the West Indies, claimed 25 wickets in seven matches last season – an important contribution to securing success by 25 points.

Now he has signed up for the opening six matches of the new campaign, which launches on April 6 against runners-up Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Surrey face a testing start to their defence, that match – against the only team to beat them last year – swiftly followed by outings against third-placed Hampshire at home and fourth-placed Essex at Chelmsford.

Roach said: “I really enjoy playing for Surrey and to be a part of winning the title last year was incredible. It’s such a talented and exciting group of players and I can’t wait to get back out on the pitch.”

Head coach Gareth Batty explained: “Kemar brings great ability and work ethic and his experience plays an important role in the dressing room.”