Durham re­pay Weighell for all his hard graft

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Char­lie Tal­bot-Smith

JAMES Weighell’s Durham ca­reer has come full cir­cle in the last two years and now the all-rounder is ready to make the best of a bad sit­u­a­tion.

Three win­ters ago, the young­ster was re­leased by his boy­hood county after an in­jury-rav­aged ado­les­cence.

But rather than sulk, rightarm seamer Weighell, 23, worked hard and pro­duced the goods in Mi­nor Coun­ties for Northum­ber­land and Premier League cricket with Stokesley.

Those show­ings forced Durham to take an­other look last sea­son and his re­demp­tion was com­pleted last month with a new deal that will keep him at Ch­esterle-Street un­til the end of the 2020 sea­son.

He said: “When I got re­leased I thought that might be it but this time around I man­aged to stay fit and play the full sea­son.”

Weighell took 38 wick­ets across all three for­mats this past sum­mer but next sum­mer the goal is to ce­ment him­self in the four-day game.

“I just need to build my overs so that I can play gamein and game-out over four days and the ex­pe­ri­ences of this past year will be a great help,” he added.

“I hadn’t played any white­ball cricket re­ally be­fore this sum­mer, but I en­joyed it and learned a lot. That was the key and I am work­ing hard so next year I can push on in the four­day stuff.”

De­spite rel­e­ga­tion and de­fec­tions, Weighell is adamant that all is not gloomy in the North-east – par­tic­u­larly after the sign­ing of Aussie fast bowler Nathan Rim­ming­ton.

“It’s great for the young lads com­ing through. If you are fit and per­form­ing well then there are chances to play,” he added. “In the past, the county had more high-pro­file play­ers and oth­ers wait­ing to step in.

“Next sea­son we start afresh in all three com­pe­ti­tions which is a great feel­ing. The slate is clean. The aim is to get this county back into Di­vi­sion One as soon as we can although we know that it prob­a­bly won’t be im­me­di­ate.

“Nathan will come straight in as a se­nior player and hope­fully it will be a like-for­like [for Gra­ham Onions]. His ex­pe­ri­ence should be a great help and rub off on all the other bowlers.”

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