Graham Clark has signed a first professional contract that will keep him at the Emirates Durham ICG until the end of the 2016 season.
The 22-year-old batsman made his first-class debut against Hampshire last week and has also featured six times in limited-overs cricket for Durham.
It was a really special moment and one I won’t forget
In one of those appearances, Clark struck a superb unbeaten 91 against Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley, and the Academy graduate has now penned a full contract with the Royal London One-Day Cup holders.
“It was a really special moment and one I won’t forget,” said the Cumbria-born right-hander.
“I’ve been aspiring to be a professional cricketer since I was tiny really, I was born to a cricketing family and for that moment to come now is fantastic”
Clark, who plays his club cricket for Newcastle, is the second member of his family to break into the professional game.
Older brother Jordan plies his trade with Lancashire and has amassed over 60 first team appearances, whilst his mother and father are both qualified coaches.
“My dad still plays now at the age of 54, and he’s still going well, so we’ve just been brought up with it really.
“The year I spent with MCC Young Cricketers (in 2013) then made me realise how much I wanted to be a professional cricketer and how much I would have to work to get there.
“I just want to become a regular first team player now, make big contributions and then win trophies for Durham”
Head coach Jon Lewis added: “Graham impressed last season and deservedly won the second team’s player of the year award.
“He was close to being called up a few times but got his chance recently and did well. It’s great to see another cricketer come through our Academy and sign a professional contract and hopefully he can kick on now.”