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Category: Durham

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County Championship: fans of all 18 counties preview the cricket season

How is your team shaping up? Fans give their verdicts on the season aheadI thought we’d narrowly avoid relegation before last season, so found our Championship win quite astonishing. But Simon Harmer won’t be the same unknown quantity this season and J…

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County Championship 2018: how will your team perform this season?

With the new county cricket season beginning next week, we’d like to hear your hopes for the summer aheadThe weather is looking a bit kinder than in recent weeks and soon cricket grounds around the country will be hosting domestic games. Friday 13 Apri…

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Durham feel squeeze after Mark Wood’s central England deal is downgraded

• Pace man returns to payroll after England scale back to white-ball contract
• Parachute payment from ECB will ease concerns for embattled Durham

Mark Wood has been downgraded from a full England central contract to a white ball-only deal. But while this means the fast bowler will now return to the payroll at Durham, the county are phlegmatic about the impact it will have on their tight finances.

Wood, 27, returned from a third ankle operation at the start of the 2017 season and went on to have a significant impact for England’s one-day team during the first half of the summer. He bowled with pace and claimed a raft of high-profile scalps that included Hashim Amla, Kane Williamson, David Warner and Steve Smith en route to the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

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Durham batsman Jack Burnham faces year-long ban after failed drug test

• Burnham, 20, has tested positive for a recreational drug
• ‘I’ve let team-mates, members and supporters down’

Jack Burnham faces a 12-month ban after testing positive for a recreational drug. Durham announced on Wednesday that the 20-year-old batsman had failed a test after supplying a hair sample in September.

The news of an impending ban for their promising player is another blow for the club. Since they were relegated to Division Two of the County Championship a year ago as part of an ECB bailout, several players have left to further their careers elsewhere.

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Andrew Strauss says Ian Botham ‘100% wrong’ over England selection panel

• Director of cricket defends ‘outstanding’ Mick Newell and Angus Fraser
• Durham chairman said selectors from counties create conflict of interest

Andrew Strauss has defended the make-up of his England selection panel and said Sir Ian Botham is “100% wrong” if he thinks the two county directors on the panel use their positions to help sign players.

Botham, the Durham chairman, questioned whether there was a conflict of interest after the all-rounder Paul Coughlin joined Nottinghamshire through a £20,000 buyout clause in his contract – a move that means he will play under Mick Newell, who both heads cricket operations at Trent Bridge and sits on the England panel.

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Ian Botham calls for transfer system after Durham lose Paul Coughlin

• Former England captain questions ‘conflict of interests’ over Notts move
• Keaton Jennings could be the next to leave embattled North East club

Sir Ian Botham, the chairman of Durham, has angrily questioned conflicts of interest within the England selection panel and called for the introduction of a transfer system in cricket after seeing Paul Coughlin, a talented all-rounder, opt to leave the embattled club for Nottinghamshire.

In a pointed statement issued on Tuesday announcing Coughlin’s decision to leave for a three-year deal at Trent Bridge, Botham expressed his frustration at losing a home-grown player and, while not naming him directly, highlighted the fact that one of the draws of Nottinghamshire is that their director cricket, Mick Newell, is also on the national selection panel.

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Durham council investigates collapsed stand at England T20 match

• Durham county council confirms inquiry into cause of accident
• Three injured and woman left with broken leg at Chester-le-Street

Durham County Council has confirmed it will investigate the cause of the partial collapse of a stand which left a female spectator with a broken leg at Chester-le-Street.

Related: Jonny Bairstow to open for England in first ODI match with West Indies

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Sussex see off a green Glamorgan and ask a question of Nottinghamshire

• Sussex 268 & 211/9; Glamorgan 294 & 182
• Sussex won by one wicket

A staggering win for Sussex, a day of rain at Kent and positions of strength for Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire: the race for Division Two’s two promotion spots is bubbling beautifully, and this was a seismic day of action.

Sussex’s was an extraordinary win, against Glamorgan – who picked a green team as their big names rested up for T20 Finals Day. Chris Jordan docked the tail to finish with five for 46 as Glamorgan made 182 at their Colwyn Bay ground. Sussex’s pursuit of 209 got off to the worst possible start as Lukas Carey had Luke Wells caught behind first ball and soon enough they were 10 for two. Stiaan van Zyl and Chris Nash rebuilt, before Andrew Salter dismissed Van Zyl (lbw) and Luke Wright (stumped) with successive deliveries to leave Sussex 100 for four.

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Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone hits double century against Warwickshire

• England prospect scores unbeaten 215 to build massive lead
• Essex bowlers bring leaders back into the game against Somerset

The sense that Liam Livingstone is a rare talent who will end up playing all three formats for England was emphatically strengthened by his brilliant maiden double-century for Lancashire against Warwickshire at Old Trafford.

Livingstone’s unbeaten 215 (from 318 balls with 25 fours and three sixes, one of which – a pull off Olly Stone – brought up his century) leaves Lancashire 284 runs ahead with four first-innings wickets in hand at the game’s halfway stage. A golden opportunity awaits to close the gap on the Division One leaders Essex before their visit to Old Trafford next week. Lancashire will go into that game second, and look the team best placed to haul Essex down.

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Round-up: Toby Roland-Jones does his best to undo patchwork Surrey

• England bowler takes two early wickets for Middlesex at The Oval
• Essex recover after being bowled out for 159 against Somerset

Had you presented this rather patchwork Surrey XI to Alec Stewart, the director of cricket, back in April, he might just have choked on his tea. Zafar Ansari, Dom Sibley and Mark Footitt are off the staff, Kumar Sangakkara and Mark Stoneman are otherwise engaged, and Tom Curran leads the list of the injured. Thus Ollie Pope and Ryan Patel are debuting as two of four 19-year-olds. And is that really Rikki Clarke?

Having been asked to bowl first Surrey’s thrown-together side did very well indeed to bowl Middlesex out for 247. But then their openers ran into Toby Roland-Jones, returning from and emboldened by his England experience. His four overs before stumps saw Patel (whose medium pace had been better than tidy) hurried into turning to leg gully, then Rory Burns – suddenly the senior batsman – caught behind by a beauty that left him.

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Paul Collingwood in line to play for World XI in landmark Pakistan series

• T20 series in September reintroduces international cricket to Pakistan
• Military style security in place for return eight years after Lahore attack

Paul Collingwood is in line to be the English representative in a World XI coached by Andy Flower that will play a three-match series in Pakistan next month as the International Cricket Council brings top-level cricket back to the country.

The Guardian understands that Collingwood, England’s World Twenty-20 winning captain, has made himself available for the three Twenty20s in Lahore on 12, 13 and 15 September with the squad, which has previously been tipped to include South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir, due to be named in the coming days.

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County Championship roundup: George Bailey helps Hampshire take revenge

• Hants post fifth highest score of 648-7 declared; Surrey 113-1
• Stevie Eskinazi hits 178no in Middlesex’s 302-6 v Warwickshire

Hampshire have not forgotten about the two days last July when, at a sweltering Ageas Bowl, Surrey posted 637 for seven declared to set up a dramatic win. It was, for Hampshire’s attack, filthy toil and, as one Surrey player admitted, they had continued batting after tea on the second day “just to piss them off”.

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County cricket: Jimmy Adams in awe of James Vince as they gang up on Surrey

• Vince catches the eye while Hampshire duo both make centuries
• Somerset fight back against Yorkshire after captain drops himself

“He’s nice to bat with but you can stand at the other end and feel a little inadequate,” said one Hampshire centurion, Jimmy Adams, of another, James Vince, at the end of a day dominated by the pair. They had put on 161, bullying Surrey after they had worked hard to dismiss Lewis McManus, bowled by a snorting, swinging Sam Curran yorker, and Rilee Rossouw, caught at second slip off Curran’s brother, Tom.

Related: County cricket: James Vince pushes England case with Hampshire century

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Simon Harmer grabs nine wickets for Essex and they do for Middlesex

• Compton hits first century since August but to no avail
• Derbyshire end tortuous two-year wait for a victory

These are heady days for Essex cricket. After defeating Middlesex by an innings and 34 runs, despite losing a day to rain, they sit proudly top of the County Championship by 28 points, after seven years out of the top flight. They have won three in succession and, whisper it, in turning over the title winners so emphatically, have the look of champions themselves.

Related: County cricket: Essex thrash Middlesex to go 29 points clear – as it happened!

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County cricket talking points: Essex lead Lancashire as season hits halfway point

Six observations from the week’s action, including praise for Simon Harmer, Dane Vilas, Paul Stirling, Samit Patel, Joe Clarke and Barry McCarthy

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

At the halfway point of the season, Essex are top of Division One. Even with Alastair Cook available, few expected that sentence to be written when Ryan ten Doeschate’s side planned this season, back in the top flight and without the services of old pros Graham Napier and David Masters. But the batting keeps coming at you – nine centuries shared between six batsmen in seven matches, the latest from Ravi Bopara (192) and James Foster (121) setting up the win over sorry Warwickshire, rock bottom and 40 points from safety. It’s a different story among the bowlers though, with just three crossing double figures for wickets in 2017: Jamie Porter (31); Neil Wagner (23) and Simon Harmer (33). The South African off-spinner relished the heat at Chelmsford, setting records with match figures of 66–24–128–14, proving that not every Kolpak is focused on the pound-rand exchange rate.

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County Championship roundup: Simon Harmer spins Essex to victory

• Essex 14 points clear after condemning Warwickshire to innings defeat
• Lancashire move into second and Durham beat Glamorgan

Having played half their games, promoted Essex sit 14 points clear atop the County Championship after Simon Harmer, perhaps the signing of the season, spun them to victory against Warwickshire, who were skittled for 94, by an innings and 164 runs. Harmer took seven consecutive wickets to finish the job and end with eight in the innings and 14 for 126 in the match, a career best.

Holding up early in the season, Harmer had been waiting for a wicket such as this. He catches flies at second slip and provides handy late runs, too. On a track turning sharply, his were classic off-spinner’s wickets, lbws and close catches with hoards round the bat. The only other wicket to fall was the first and most important, Ian Bell, done by the angle of Neil Wagner, playing his final game for Essex. Mohammad Amir, who confidently said he could help Essex win the Championship as he was unveiled, will replace him from Monday.

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Sam Robson jogs a few memories as Middlesex make merry against Yorkshire

• Middlesex 337-4 v Yorkshire
• Hampshire frustrate Lancashire, Essex go slow against Warks

The first five games of Middlesex’s title defence have not exactly gone to plan. Some of their cricket has been passive, and injuries and call-ups have been disruptive, not least for this game, with the batting backbone of Nick Gubbins, Dawid Malan and Adam Voges all absent. The impressive unbeaten run is gone, too, and they are winless.

But they like playing Yorkshire – who have lost their past three at Lord’s, and their last three against Middlesex, all in remarkable fashion – and through centuries from Sam Robson (152 not out) and Paul Stirling (111), the latter’s long overdue first in Championship cricket, they have carved a strong position on a pitch that appears green but largely played true (save for a couple that stayed low) under a beating sun. As they tend to when Stirling is in town, runs flowed freely throughout.

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County Championship: Kyle Abbott ensures Hampshire top Division One

• Abbott takes four wickets to sink Warwickshire to bottom of table
• Somerset and Middlesex draw. Sussex cause Division Two upset

Hampshire lead the County Championship by 14 points and showed their clinical quality by taking Warwickshire’s last eight wickets for 65 to win by an innings and 94 runs. The contrast with the side whose relegation led to their reprieve last season is stark and unavoidable: Durham are bottom of Division Two on minus 21 points after their fourth defeat in five.

When, early on, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, having shared 93 for the third wicket, fell in consecutive overs, Warwickshire were left at the mercy of the weather. The rain came but not early enough or for long enough to save them – they were eight down and off the field for only minutes.

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County Championship: Kyle Abbott ensures Hampshire top Division One

• Abbott takes four wickets to sink Warwickshire to bottom of table
• Somerset and Middlesex draw. Sussex cause Division Two upset

Hampshire lead the County Championship by 14 points and showed their clinical quality by taking Warwickshire’s last eight wickets for 65 to win by an innings and 94 runs. The contrast with the side whose relegation led to their reprieve last season is stark and unavoidable: Durham are bottom of Division Two on minus 21 points after their fourth defeat in five.

When, early on, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, having shared 93 for the third wicket, fell in consecutive overs, Warwickshire were left at the mercy of the weather. The rain came but not early enough or for long enough to save them – they were eight down and off the field for only minutes.

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County cricket talking points: Kumar Sangakkara’s season average hits 109.50

Sangakkara has now hit 876 runs this season; Somerset need to wake up; Kent have to be more ruthless; and Paul Collingwood’s declaration deserves an ovation

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Essex and Surrey started their match separated by one point at the top of Division One and finished it in identical shape, the draw not really helping either in a tight race for the pennant. Inevitably, Surrey were indebted to Kumar Sangakkara, who “failed” in his bid for six consecutive centuries, falling for 86 as the match meandered to a draw on the last afternoon. Having registered a round 200 in the first dig, the ageless Sir Lankan scored 47% of Surrey’s runs off the bat, but will have to wait for that hundredth senior hundred. He has now scored 876 runs for Surrey this season at an average of 109.50 – so one suspects he will not be waiting for very long. Contributions were more spread among the Essex players, but teenager Dan Lawrence caught the eye again with a ton. He, like fellow teen Sam Curran (who made 90 in Surrey’s first dig), can only learn from the honour of sharing a cricket field with an all-time great of the game.

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