Durham batted relentlessly against Hampshire in the final of the Friends Provident Trophy. Almost every batsman who came to the crease swatted the ball around with urgency and intent.
When Hampshire replied, Ottis Gibson took two wickets with the first two balls of the innings and Durham had done as much as a team can do in barely over half a match. Sure enough, they won.
Has anyone else really warmed to Durham over the last couple of years? We were really rooting for them in the final of the Friends Provident Trophy. It’s great that they won.
Lots of counties get really whingy when one of their players gets called up for England. They say that they’re unfairly hampered by not having their best players available. Not Durham. Durham are PROUD when one of their number plays for England.
Durham know that it’s their role to try and produce England players and if they succeed, they’re happy for the player and they also see it as a triumph for the county. Then they produce another brilliant young bowler and carry on like losing their best player’s no problem at all.
England call up Steve Harmison. ‘Not to worry,’ say Durham. ‘We’ve got Liam Plunkett.’
England call up Liam Plunkett. ‘Not to worry,’ say Durham. ‘We’ve got Graham Onions.’
England call up Graham Onions. ‘Okay, this is getting a bit annoying now,’ say Durham. ‘But it’s okay. We’ve got Mark Davies and Neil Killeen. And we’ll always have Ottis Gibson, even though he supposedly retired six years ago.’
There are a good few counties who haven’t produced England players in a long time. There are a good few counties who seem to wish that they didn’t. Because of that and because they’d never won a major trophy before, we’re glad that Durham won.