Cricket Notebook: It’s all change at Durham as Marcus North prepares for hotseat

Will Macpherson
Geoff Cook is leaving Durham after 27 years at the club: Getty Images

Durham are poised to announce the appointment of former Australia batsman Marcus North as their new director of cricket this week.

It was announced this morning that Geoff Cook, the holder of the post, will leave after 27 years at the club. He has seen Durham move into first-class cricket and when he was head coach they won the Championship three times and produced several England stars.

He is set to be replaced by North, who has been CEO at South Northumberland Cricket Club in Newcastle, one of the biggest clubs in the country, since 2015. He has a long association with the region, having played for Gateshead Fell in 2000 and Durham in 2004 (one of six counties he represented). His wife is from the area. North, 39, scored five centuries in 21 Tests for Australia.

Durham revealed Cook would be leaving “as part of a restructure” that is understood to involve the arrival of a new batting coach and will be finalised this week. The club hope to keep the retiring Paul Collingwood in some capacity but understand that coaching offers will come in regularly.

Is Brown set to be a Star in Melbourne?

Pat Brown was the breakout star of T20 Finals Day on Saturday — and the competition as a whole. The 20-year-old Worcestershire fast bowler caught the eye with his knuckle balls and variations at the death.

He bowled eight overs for 36 (and took four wickets) on the day, and 31 wickets across the Blast. James Anderson talked him up, and Moeen Ali tipped him for global T20 success.

Brown is under consideration by the Melbourne Stars to be a replacement player for the second half of Australia’s Big Bash League as overseas signing Adil Rashid, who was recalled by England’s Test side this summer, is likely to be in the Caribbean in the New Year.

Roy back in Surrey side

(Getty Images)

Jason Roy was today named in Surrey’s Championship XI for the first time this year as they won the toss and opted to bat first at Somerset, who were their closest challengers for the title secured last week. Roy for Will Jacks was one of two changes, with Conor McKerr back in for Jade Dernbach, meaning Gareth Batty has still not played this year. Somerset opted against a second spinner (with only Jack Leach, not Dom Bess, making the XI), with their pitches under close watch from the ECB.