Paul Collingwood wants to help Durham until he has “zero energy left” after confirming he will extend his professional career into a 22nd year with the club.
After weeks of news about further players leave the club – and other problems for the county, including the drug-related ban for batsman Jack Burnham – it will have been heartening for Durham’s management to hear that one of their stalwarts wants to keep on playing despite an increasing coaching workload with England, which includes roles in the Ashes and one-day series in Australia.
Collingwood’s form in 2017 confirmed there was no waning of his powers and he was named Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Batsman of the Year at the club’s end-of-season awards. He scored over 1000 runs in the County Championship and hit a century during the NatWest Blast campaign.
“I am so proud to still be playing for my home county who have given me the perfect environment to fulfil all of my cricketing dreams,” Collingwood said. “I’ve proven this season that I still have a lot to offer and I feel my role at Durham is still important in helping develop the next generation of Durham cricketers.
“I know that this club still has so much to offer English cricket and despite a challenging season I still feel we can compete for promotion back to the first division in 2018. We will keep fighting, that’s the Durham spirit, we will keep giving opportunities to home-grown players and offering chances for them to play first-class cricket.
“We have to fight right from the top to the bottom of the club, Durham is a fantastic place to play and they have given me everything over the years. I will try and help them right until I have zero energy left, at the minute I still have plenty.”
Club chairman, Ian Botham, added: “To keep a player of Paul’s experience and ability at the club is a massive bonus as we continue to strive for promotion back to the top division.
“Paul epitomises the values of Durham CCC, both on and off the field, as well as still being a fine player who leads from the front in the role of club captain.
In the closing weeks of the season, Keaton Jennings and Graham Onions left Durham for Lancashire while Paul Coughlin moved to Nottinghamshire.
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