‘Bittersweet’ win for Durham hero

CELEBRATIONS ... Gareth Breese.
CELEBRATIONS ... Gareth Breese.

DURHAM star Gareth Breese admitted his delight at scoring the winning runs in a Lords final was tinged with sadness.

The somewhat fortunate four that saw Durham to a three-wicket win over Warwickshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup final at Lord’s could well be the last time the West Indian puts bat on ball for the county.

Durham's Gareth Breese celebrates their victory against Warwickshire on his final match during the Royal London One Day Cup Final at Lord's Cricket Ground, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 20, 2014. See PA story CRICKET Cup. Photo credit should read: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

Durham's Gareth Breese celebrates their victory against Warwickshire on his final match during the Royal London One Day Cup Final at Lord's Cricket Ground, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 20, 2014. See PA story CRICKET Cup. Photo credit should read: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

Durham go into their final game of the season tomorrow, and it remains to be seen whether the veteran will be given one last hurrah.

Breese, whose contract isn’t being renewed at the end of the current campaign, admitted to feeling mixed emotions after getting his side over the winning line.

“It’s a bit bittersweet,” he said. “I’m enjoying my cricket and would love to play a bit more for Durham, but unfortunately circumstances dictate and that’s that.

“But I’ve been honoured to be part of the team and to help bring another trophy back to the North East.”

After hugging batting partner Ben Stokes as the ball crossed the line to seal the win, Breese made a dash towards his family in the stands, hurdling a barrier to get to them.

And he said it was an amazing feeling to be able to share the success with wife Celia and children Max and Savannah.

“My little boy is only two and he hasn’t seen much cricket,” he added.

“He’s only just started talking, and to be able to hear him say ‘daddy win’ was just fantastic.

“The best part about this is that we have won it with another team performance.

“No one stood out, but together we did it, and that’s the most important thing.”

Durham – the youngest First Class county in England – once again showed their winning mentality to overcome Warwickshire.

And Breese feels that what the club has achieved in a relatively short space of time should not be overlooked.

He added: “We’ve probably won six trophies now, with this one, in the last seven years, and that is what the club is all about.

“I think any county would love to do that. We’ve had three one-day trophies, two 50 overs finals at Lords, a Pro 40 in 2007 and three County Championships to go with that.”

While this may be the end of Breese’s story at Durham, he hopes that others can continue the success.

He said: “We have been able to bring silverware home for the last seven years, and hopefully the guys who are still there, a fantastic group of lads, who are very talented, will be able to do some more in the future.”

A veteran campaigner Breese felt more than his fair share of nerves before marching out to the crease to score what would prove to be the decisive runs.

And the all-rounder admitted he cut a nervous figure before being thrown into the action.

“I was so nervous in the dressing room that I couldn’t eat my lunch,” he said. “And let me tell you lunch at Lord’s is fantastic.

“So not to eat lunch at Lord’s says enough about how nervous I felt.

“I kept pacing the dressing room and in the back of my mind I was thinking can we pull this off, it’s close game but Warwickshire are not going to give up – and Jeetan Patel (4-25) bowled fantastically well.

“Credit to Warwickshire they were fantastic opposition, but thankfully we were able to get over the line.”

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