Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Cash Incentive in Durham's Quest for Glory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Cash Incentive in Durham's Quest for Glory

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

DURHAM will bid for Twenty20 Cup glory boosted by a further financial incentive.

Victory over Middlesex in today's semi-final will earn the Riversiders a place in the inaugural Champions League event, which offers a pounds 2.5m prize fund and pounds 1m for the winners.

And now, following an announcement yesterday, a title triumph in finals day at Southampton will secure a chance of another potential windfall with a place in the Stanford Super Series.

Details of the six-match series in Antigua, which culminates with England's pounds 10m, winner-takes-all clash against a Stanford select XI on November 1, were unveiled at Hampshire's Rose Bowl yesterday.

As part of the event the winners of today's Twenty20 finals day will also be involved in three games against England, the Stanford Superstars and regional champions Trinidad and Tobago.

Prize money for the winners of the match against Trinidad and Tobago is a potential pounds 150,000, representing a huge incentive for county players, whose average yearly wage is around pounds 35,000.

Durham's first Twenty20 Cup semi-final will be a clash of styles as the north's sole remaining representatives take on Middlesex.

Apart from the added financial incentives, there is another subplot to this afternoon's game, with Durham trying to claim their second major trophy since earning first-class status in 1992.

But the contrasting approach of both sides should add a further layer of interest. The Crusaders' tactics in the field will be based around the spin of Shaun Udal and Murali Karthik.

Durham's response will come from a battery of seam bowlers. Whereas Ed Smith's batting line-up revolves around the youthful Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Ed Joyce and Owais Shah, Durham are likely to feature three players (Paul Collingwood, Shaun Pollock and Steve Harmison) who have played in the World Cup and six other internationals. …

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