Sir Ian wil help bring the glory days back

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Im­ran Marashli

SIR Ian Botham’s place among the crick­et­ing greats can help Durham climb out of their slump and be­come a ma­jor force in county cricket again, ac­cord­ing to Paul Colling­wood.

Durham were rel­e­gated in 2016 and hit with a 48-point de­duc­tion af­ter seek­ing fi­nan­cial help from the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board this sea­son and cur­rently sit ninth in the ten-team league af­ter two wins and four draws.

And off the pitch Colling­wood is con­fi­dent that, with Eng­land’s great­est all-rounder as chair­man, they are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

He said: “I think he will bring the right peo­ple in. It is not nec­es­sar­ily an overnight thing, but I think he has brought a sta­tus. You re­alise how big of a man he is in terms of bring­ing money into the club. He’s de­ter­mined, he is very am­bi­tious, and I think he has got his heart in it, which is a great sign.”

One of the other sanc­tions that Durham were hit with was a re­vised salary-cap be­tween 2017 and 2020.

But Colling­wood says this has worked in their favour, forc­ing them to give some of their younger play­ers a chance to shine with­out too much pres­sure be­ing heaped on them.

He added:“We have all agreed that this year was go­ing to be a pro­duc­tion year, de­vel­op­ing the younger play­ers, ex­pos­ing them in pres­sure sit­u­a­tions they prob­a­bly nor­mally would not have been ex­posed to this early in their ca­reer.

“Ev­ery­one un­der­stands that it is such a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion to be in that we may as well take some good out of it and de­velop the younger play­ers.

“We have seen some re­ally top-class per­for­mances from some younger guys and that is ex­cit­ing for the fu­ture.

“In many ways it is prob­a­bly pres­sure off be­cause you are not ex­pected to go and win.

“It is quite heart­en­ing as well to see that there is so much tal­ent around still and it’s im­por­tant that we con­tinue to drive that home to the new play­ers com­ing in, that we are still a big county.

“We are still very am­bi­tious, and we will con­tinue to do what we have al­ways done in the past, and that is try­ing to pro­duce in­ter­na­tional crick­eters.”

One of the play­ers that Durham were able to keep hold of was Keaton Jen­nings.

The open­ing bats­man has had a tough sum­mer in the Test spot­light, mak­ing only 127 runs in eight in­nings, at an av­er­age of 15.87 with a best score of 48 against South Africa and was sub­se­quently dropped for the first Test against West Indies.

Colling­wood says if Jen­nings wants to guar­an­tee his spot on the plane to Aus­tralia this win­ter then he has to start scor­ing some runs.

He added:“That’s his job in life, scor­ing runs. He knows that.

“And to back his abil­ity again – his con­fi­dence will be hugely dented from what has hap­pened, and I know that from ex­pe­ri­ence.

“He’s got the tal­ent. Deep down he knows he’s got the tal­ent. But once he starts scor­ing runs again and gets that be­lief back then hope­fully he can have a re­ally strong end to the sea­son and push for a claim to that Ashes squad.”

Paul Colling­wood was speak­ing in as­so­ci­a­tion with Spec­savers – ti­tle spon­sor of the County Cham­pi­onship. For in­for­ma­tion - spec­savers.co.uk

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

In the spot­light: Paul Colling­wood poses for a photo dur­ing film­ing of the Spec­savers ad­vert The Um­pires Strike Back

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