The fixtures for Durham’s first Division 2 campaign since 2005 made miserable reading for the county’s supporters. Trips to Derbyshire and Leicestershire were the last thing on the mind of Durham’s players following their magnificent, hard fought win against Surrey at the Riverside which secured survival. Following the ECB’s draconian sanctions which have seen the club relegated, Durham now face a steep task to secure promotion as they begin the new season on -48 points.
However, all is not lost in the North East. Durham have the stand out squad in the second Division with opening bowlers Chris Rushworth and Graham Onions being arguably the best in the country. Further experience is brought by captain and club legend Paul Collingwood who extended his contract for another year to help Durham cope with the loss of star batsmen Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick. With these stalwarts alongside some incredibly promising young players – such as Keaton Jennings, Jack Burnham, Paul and Josh Coughlin, Adam Hickey, Brydon Carse and Barry McCarthy – Durham will go into every Championship game this season as favourites and expecting victory.