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County Cricket

2018 county cricket previews: Durham

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

In partnership with the Cricketers’ Who’s Who, here’s Wisden’s profile of Durham for 2018.

FORMED: 1882
HOME GROUND: Emirates Riverside
T20 NAME: Durham Jets
CAPTAIN: Paul Collingwood (Championship), TBC (RL50 and T20)
2017 RESULTS: CC2: 9/10; RL50: 5/9 North Group; T20: 9/9 North Group
HONOURS: Championship: (3) 2008, 2009, 2013; Gillette/NatWest/C&G/FP Trophy: 2007; Pro40/National League/CB40/YB40/RL50: 2014

The lowdown

A storm continues to blow over the north-east. It began in earnest with Championship relegation in 2016 and a whopping 48-point deduction in return for a £3.8 million bail-out from the ECB. Then there is the talent drain: following Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick’s departure to Surrey a year ago, Graham Onions, Keaton Jennings and Paul Coughlin have also decided that their interests are best served elsewhere. Meanwhile batsman Jack Burnham is serving a one-year ban for using recreational drugs.

But if you would pick a man to weather a storm it would be 41-year-old Paul Collingwood, who goes into his 23rd season with Durham after a summer in which he oozed defiance: 1,000 first-class runs for the first time since 2005, a maiden T20 hundred, and top of the 50-over averages. There were other bright spots in the form of young batsmen Cameron Steel and Graham Clark. Experienced Melburnian paceman Nathan Rimmington arrives on a British passport and ex-skipper Will Smith returns to Chester-le-Street, while Kiwi opener Tom Latham is expected to be available for most of the season. South Africa’s Aiden Markram will be at the top of the order for the first month and India’s left-arm spinning all-rounder Akshar Patel joins for the final six Championship games. Mark Wood is at the IPL but if he stays fit could make a telling contribution later in the season.

Transfers

IN: Will Smith (Ham), Nathan Rimmington (Aus, UK passport), Tom Latham (NZ), Aiden Markram (SA)
OUT: Paul Coughlin (Not), Keaton Jennings, Graham Onions (both Lan)

Head coach: Jon Lewis

A solid opening batsman who made 16 first-class centuries with Essex and Durham, Lewis took over as head coach in June 2013 after Geoff Cook stepped down to recover from a heart attack, immediately leading the side to the County Championship title and then to victory in the One-Day Cup the following year. Lewis guided the club to their second T20 Finals Day in 2016.

Wisden prediction

CC2: 5/10
RL50: 6/9 North Group
T20: 9/9 North Group

CLICK FOR FULL LIST OF 2018 WISDEN PREDICTIONS AND PROFILES OF EVERY COUNTY

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