Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Restructure at Durham Sees Lewis Depart after 21 Years at Riverside

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Restructure at Durham Sees Lewis Depart after 21 Years at Riverside

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER Sports writer stuart.rayner@reachplc.com @sturayner

HEAD coach Jon Lewis has left Durham after 21 years at the Riverside.

Lewis has decided to go after effectively being demoted in the restructuring taking place at Durham.

The former opener coached Durham to the Second XI Championship in 2008 and against all the odds in 2013 he took over as interim coach in mid-season after Geoff Cook suffered a heart attack and led them to the first XI title.

The team was made up almost exclusively of players who had come through the second team under Lewis.

He took full control in 2014, when Durham won the One-Day Cup using only 13 players.

In 2016 the Riversiders reached the final of the Twenty20 Cup for the only time in their history. Lewis stayed loyal and oversaw the rebuilding of the club after their financial collapse in 2016.

That saw them relegated to County Championship Division Two and lose key players such as Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick and Paul Coughlin. They also decided to release Graham Onions, their all-time leading wicket-taker in first-class cricket, and Phil Mustard, their top-scorer in Twenty20.

Against that backdrop, Championship results over the last two years have been very disappointing.

Although Durham only missed out on qualifying for the knockout stages of the 2017 One-Day Cup - but for the points deduction they were handed for their financial troubles they would have gone through to the next round ahead of eventual winners Nottinghamshire - they were second from bottom in the Championship, where their 48-point deduction had a damaging psychological effect.

Last season they finished a disappointing eighth out of ten.

They were bowled out four times for less than 100 and at Leicestershire they were all out twice in a day for less than their previous all-time lowest score in first-class cricket. …

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