Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Driven Onwards by Sense of Pride

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Driven Onwards by Sense of Pride

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

WITH a Twenty20 Cup quarter-final up for grabs, County Championship relegation to fight, and a one-day international against Australia to host, there is plenty on the line for Durham in the coming weeks.

The worst-case scenarios will barely feature on the balance sheet.

But Durham did not work so hard to join the First-Class game 20 years ago to be also-rans. North East pride, not bottom lines, drives them.

Chief executive David Harker (pictured above) may once have been the club's accountant, but he is no different.

It is why Durham took the decision this week to change four-day captain, Paul Collingwood replacing Phil Mustard.

If the bread-and-butter of the Championship has been a winless slog in 2012, the cherry on the top that is Twenty20 has been far more encouraging.

The only dark cloud - literally - is the weather threatening today's one-day international between England and Australia at Chester-le-Street. Durham's bus was not far past Scotch Corner when it turned around yesterday, all hopes of a Twenty20 game in Leicester abandoned.

It will make for a nervous final day tomorrow when Durham, Lancashire and Essex compete for a quarter-final place.

There will be no fretting about today's weather, Harker insists.

"I can't do anything about it so it's not one of the things I worry about," he says.

"The forecast is so changeable you can't take it for certain. There was a game earlier in the summer where we were pretty confident there wouldn't be a ball bowled, yet we played the full game."

Like all English international venues, Durham are insured against the worst the weather can throw at them today.

"There's no real financial consequence to us, the most immediate consequence is you don't sell as much beer as you would ordinarily like," Harker explains.

"Because of insurances, it isn't really a financial problem, just a real dampener.

This is about putting a show on, and we want people to get into the habit of watching international cricket at Chesterle-Street. …

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