Durham have extended or are close to agreeing new contracts with four of their players. Former South Africa Under-19s captain Keaton Jennings has effectively confirmed his decision to turn his back on the country of his berth by penning a two-year extension, despite returning there to continue his accountancy studies this winter. Meanwhile, Australian-born seam-bowler Callum Thorp and South African-born wicket-keeper batsman Michael Richardson have each signed one-year deals as has impressive young seam-bowler Jamie Harrison.
Durham Head Coach Geoff Cook also indicated that Ian Blackwell would be staying for 2013 despite not featuring in Durham’s first-team for much of last season. He also said that the club was not planning any new signings other than a top-order overseas batsman.
Walter Lawrence Trophy winner Scott Styris will again be one of Sussex’s two Friends Life t20 overseas players in 2013. The 37 year-old New Zealander hit a century off only 37 balls during the 2012 edition to win the trophy and stressed his desire to help Sussex win the tournament in 2013.
Styris said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Sussex team this year and we feel we have unfinished business in this competition. I want to contribute next season and hopefully we can go all the way to securing the silverware.”
Middlesex youngsters Josh Davey, Adam London and Ollie Wilkin have followed in the footsteps of Toby Roland-Jones and Corey Collymore in signing contract extensions with the club. Roland-Jones signed on for an astonishing five years, while Collymore was handed a one-year extension. Scotland international Davey and young batsmen London have also penned one-year extensions, while Wilkin has chosen to give up his studies at Loughborough University and has signed his maiden full-time contract, of length two years.
Former Somerset player and New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has been diagnosed with grade two follicular lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. The 50 year-old played for the county between 1984 and 1988 and scored almost 4000 runs at an average approaching 60 in first-class cricket.
A statement from Somerset CCC said, “The thoughts of everyone at Somerset CCC are with Martin Crowe and his family at this difficult time.”
Crowe himself released a statement, upbeat in its tone and thanking well-wishers for their support.
"It is very treatable. It is not aggressive," Crowe said. "Treatment will be decided in due course after further tests and consultation in the next two weeks.
"I am overwhelmed by the support and concern by so many around the world and wish to say a massive thanks... it has enabled me to come to terms with the shock from my recent lymphoma diagnosis faster.”
In other news from Taunton, the club have awarded a benefit to opening batsmen and left-arm spinner Arul Suppiah for the 2013 season.
Sussex have confirmed their captaincy arrangements for next season. 2012 club captain Michael Yardy stepped down towards the end of last season and was replaced by Ed Joyce. The club have appointed Joyce now on a permanent basis with Chris Nash acting as his deputy when Joyce is called away on international duty with Ireland.
Joyce said of his appointment, “It is a great honour and privilege for me to be given the chance to captain Sussex in 2013. I hugely enjoyed doing the job for the last few months of the 2012 season and, having gone close this year, I feel very strongly we can bring some silverware back to Hove next year.
“With Murray Goodwin moving on and Rory Hamilton-Brown re-signing, the team will be slightly in transition next year. But it should also be a very exciting time for the club with a younger side and perhaps some more opportunities for the younger members of the squad to show what they can do. I'm really looking forward to helping these guys develop, along with Chris Nash as vice-captain and Mark Robinson and the coaching team. We will all be working as hard as possible to try and bring as much success as Yards has had in his time as captain.”
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