Michael Richardson signs new Durham deal

CONTRACT ... Michael Richardson.
CONTRACT ... Michael Richardson.

DURHAM County Cricket Club have received a boost with the news that talented wicketkeeper/batsman Michael Richardson has signed a contract extension.

Richardson has put pen to paper on a new deal, which will keep with the county until the end of the 2014 season.

It is good news for Durham, who had feared that the South African-born star, would look to move on in the winter.

It is no secret that Richardson had become frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities.

Coach Geoff Cook admitted at the end of last season that Durham were unsure if they would be able to persuade the player to stay at the Emirates ICG.

And the form of former skipper and current gloveman Phil Mustard means that chances behind the stumps could once again be limited.

However, Durham would not be against selecting the 26-year-old as a batsman.

Cook said: “We know how talented Michael is and that he has had to wait for an opportunity, because Phil was playing so well.

“But there might be an opportunity there for him to concentrate on being a specialist batsman near the top of the order.

“That is something we will speak to him about.”

Richardson was employed in that role in a couple of County Championship mataches towards the end of last season.

He made 41 in the first innings of Durham’s draw away to Lancashire, and 58 in the second innings at home to Sussex – a match the men from Chester-le-Street won by five wickets.

Richardson is currently working with Durham sponsor Brewin Dolphin, through the winter and he will be back with the squad in early next year.

And he delighted to have signed the new deal.

“I’m really looking forward to next year, and proud to have extended my stay with Durham,” he said.

“I’ll be meeting up again with the squad full time in January.

“I got my place in the first team towards the end of last season, and that’s where I would like to start come April.

“It feels like next summer, 2013, is going to be a crucial year for me and the club, and hopefully we can win a trophy to really top it off.”

Meanwhile, Scott Borthwick took 6-38 as part of England’s performance squad as they claimed a 193-run victory over a DY Patil Academy XI.