Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cook Sees a 20:20 Vision

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cook Sees a 20:20 Vision

Article excerpt


AS Durham wave goodbye to County Championship cricket for the best part of a month, coach Geoff Cook warned his whole squad to be ready for the quickfire demands of Twenty20 cricket.

The Riversiders have 11 20-over matches before the reverse fixture with Warwickshire at the end of the month.

Having spent most of yesterday hoping in vain for the Birmingham rain to stop long enough for them to claim a third Championship victory this season, Durham can now concentrate on a Twenty20 campaign which opens against Lancashire at Chester-le-Street on Friday.

And Cook warned one-day outcast Mark Stoneman that even he needs to be ready to play. Three years after his Durham debut, the opener from Newcastle is yet to feature in a competitive limited-overs game but that could change soon.

Cook said: "In Twenty20 cricket he probably won't start, but we're going to encourage him to play as much limited-overs cricket in the seconds as possible.

"We have so many Twenty20 matches coming up it's going to be absolutely impossible to keep the same team. There's going to be natural changes and changes through injury which are bound to occur with such a schedule.

"It's important everybody puts their mind to playing Twenty20 cricket now, and that includes Mark, who's had limited experience.

"He's a fantastic timer of a cricket ball, always has been. That's never been an issue.

"Scoring the big innings of the type he produced at Edgbaston has always been the issue and he looked as if he was going to get one in this game until a strange dismissal.

"He's hopefully showing signs of maturity and he'll be a one-day cricketer in the future."

There have certainly been signs recently that the 22-year-old's career is back on an upward curve.

Having forced his way back in with big runs in second-team games and friendlies, Stoneman made 77 against Warwickshire. …

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