Sir Ian Botham determined to help relegated Durham bounce back

Sir Ian Botham.
Sir Ian Botham.

Former England and Durham all-rounder Sir Ian Botham is set to take a role with his old county side to try to “rescue a wonderful place”.

Durham suffered severe punishment for their financial problems, they have been relegated two Division Two and will start next season on -48 points.

And Botham, who played at the Riverside for the 2012 season, believes there is “definitely light at the end of” the situation.

“We have to try and do something to put everything back into sync,” he told Sky Sports News HQ. “At this stage it is very early, but yes, I’ll be throwing my hat into the ring to help. We’ll see what happens.”

“What we are looking at is trying to rescue a wonderful place, Durham and a wonderful cricket team. They have done well over the years.

“There is a lot of work to be done but the players, there’s a lot of good young players coming through the Durham system.”

The running of the club has come under real scrutiny, and the estimated debts are around £7.5m.

The ECB have helped Durham out with a £3.8m rescue package, however, other restrictions came with the deal besides relegation and points deductions.

All non-player ECB competition prize money will be held back, and on top of the revised salary cap, Durham has lost their test match status.

“I’m afraid relegation is part and parcel of it. The point’s deduction, well, we’ll just have to win the first couple of games. That’s what they’ve got to say to themselves. All in all…the tree has only just been planted.”

Durham have estimated debts of around £7.5m and the ECB has helped them out with a £3.8m package – though the price of that was relegation, the points penalty and a number of other restrictions.

Durham has produced many cricketers over the years, which have gone on to represent England.

Ben Stokes and Mark Wood are prime examples as well as veteran Paul Collingwood, who went on to lead his country to World Twenty20 success.

“There is a lot of work to be done but the players, there’s a lot of good young players coming through the Durham system,” Botham said.

“You only need to look at what they have achieved in the ranks below the first team. It’s been exceptional at all levels.

“I’m afraid relegation is part and parcel of it. The point’s deduction, well, we’ll just have to win the first couple of games. That’s what they’ve got to say to themselves.

“All in all, the tree has only just been planted.”