Durham repay Weighell for all his hard graft
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.”