Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Michael Di Venuto Enjoyed His First Season at Durham So Much He Decided to Become an Italian. Chief Sports Writer Luke Edwards Explains Why the Australian Opener Was So Desperate to Return to the Riverside

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Michael Di Venuto Enjoyed His First Season at Durham So Much He Decided to Become an Italian. Chief Sports Writer Luke Edwards Explains Why the Australian Opener Was So Desperate to Return to the Riverside

Article excerpt

WITH the creation of two lucrative Twenty20 leagues in India this winter in danger of draining the life out of both international and domestic cricket, money has, sadly, never talked louder in the sport.

It certainly played a part in persuading Michael Di Venuto to end his 17-year association with Tasmania to accept a two-year contract from Durham.

At 34, Di Venuto no longer wanted to play for 12 months of the year and, while Tasmania was his home, it had come to the point where he needed to make sure his family would be financially secure when his playing days were over.

Durham were a better side and they were offering more money and, regardless of emotional attachment to the club where he made his name, that made it the best option - even it meant swapping his Australian passport for his father's Italian one to qualify as a kolpak. Few can criticise his decision and few on his home island just south of the Australian mainland have dared, no matter how sorry they are to see him leave.

"It was a difficult decision, but I'm definitely sure I've made the right one," said Di Venuto, who only arrived in England last weekend after a tough final season in Hobart. "I was looking back to cutting my cricket back to six months and with the Italian passport it became an option to come back to Durham.

"It was hard to leave Tasmania but I've got to think about my family and the long term. This was where I wanted to play for those six months and I'm really excited about what this season could bring for Durham.

"I've signed for two years but, depending on form, fitness and everything going well, I'd like to extend for another few years. I can't see myself playing anywhere else other than here.

"People in Tasmania accepted my decision, there wasn't any bitterness, which was nice. Tasmania handled it really well. I had a couple of nice farewells and they respected the decision I'd made. I'd played for Tasmania for 17 years so it wasn't easy, but they accepted what I wanted to do."

Yet, money is clearly not the only thing that motivates Di Venuto when you consider how many other cricketers around the world, but particularly in Australia, have decided to accept the riches on offer in India. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.