Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Duo Continue to Be Ignored by Countries; ROYAL LONDON CUP: Durham V Worcestershire

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Duo Continue to Be Ignored by Countries; ROYAL LONDON CUP: Durham V Worcestershire

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

JOHN Hastings is confused as to why Chris Rushworth is not in the England set-up, but his Durham team-mate could just as easily say the same thing about Hastings and Australia.

On an otherwise uneventful day at sodden Chester-le-Street, Hastings signed a contract will bring him back to the North East for a third season in 2016.

Durham probably need a new batsman more than a bowling allrounder, but a number of factors make Hastings arguably the most valuable overseas player on the county circuit.

At 6ft 6in, Hastings' frame is strong enough to withstand the notorious rigours of the English game. He is an ever-present in all formats, his only rests when Friday's Twenty20 match in Northampton and yesterday's Royal London Cup home match with Worcestershire were washed out.

The 29-year-old has also bought in as enthusiastically as any homegrown player to the Durham ethos, so much so that he turned down the riches on offer at the Indian and Caribbean Premier Leagues to have a full season in England.

The other thing that makes that possible is Australia's strange aversion to selecting Hastings, who made the last of his 15 Australian appearances in November 2012. "I'm not sure what the reasons are," he says. "I've not had any contact with any selectors since I played my Test match, really.

"I know they've got a massive push to have quick bowlers who bowl consistently over 90mph. That puts me in the bracket of not being en vogue at the minute.

"But the aspiration is still there to play for Australia. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully I'll be able to get back there at some stage."

When Ryan Harris was forced to retire through injury shortly before this summer's first Ashes Test, Hastings and Steve Magoffin, acclimatised and perfectly suited to English conditions seemed natural replacements, but the selectors went for the quicker Pat Cummins. …

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