Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Stumped in Foreign Star Bid; County Rule out 2013 Overseas Signing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Stumped in Foreign Star Bid; County Rule out 2013 Overseas Signing

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner ? (0191) 201-6283 ? stuart.rayner@ncjmedia.co.uk

DURHAM are resigned to another season without an overseas player. The county ended the 2012 campaign keen to add a quality overseas batsman to their ranks and add experience to a youthful line-up.

However, Durham have decided they cannot afford the standard of player captain Paul Collingwood in particular has been pushing for.

Ricky Ponting's weekend admission his Australia career is perhaps nearing an end was a tempting prospect for members waiting to see who the county might sign, but it appears they will be disappointed.

Coach Geoff Cook said: "The club have a squad and are looking to develop one or two young players.

"We'd love to be in a position to attract a player of Ponting's quality, but finances are tight at the moment." Durham's batting was badly exposed by a combination of seamer-friendly conditions and the mid-season retirement of Michael Di Venuto in 2012.

Youngsters Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson - who has agreed a oneyear contract with an option to stay longer - showed promise late in the campaign, but came into the side too late to prove their consistency.

Mark Stoneman continued to look good in four-day cricket, but reserved his big scores for the 40-over game.

Durham's plans were not helped by the fact big earners were regularly overlooked by the first team.

However, with Stephen Harmison having a 2013 benefit and Ian Blackwell due to undergo a shoulder operation next month, there are no plans to make space for an overseas professional.

Cook added: "We don't really want to do that.

"We have lost LiamPlunkett and Michael Di Venuto and one or two young players have left in recent years, so I don't think we can afford to lose any more." The Riversiders have not had an overseas player in County Championship cricket since Shivnarine Chanderpaul in 2009. …

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