David Harker hopes all the hard work pays off

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ENGLAND will look to tie up a series win when they face bitter rivals Australia at Durham’s Emirates ICG tomorrow, writes Gary Foster.

A sell-out 17,000 crowd will make their way to the Chester-le-Street venue tomorrow, and Durham chief executive David Harker hopes they will be cheering on a home win.

The weather forecast is not great, but Harker is hoping for the best.

“Emirates Durham ICG is delighted to bring international cricket to the region, giving sports fans the chance to see world class cricket on their door step,” he said.

“The support we have had in terms of ticket sales has been fantastic and I’m sure everyone will be thoroughly entertained as England look to clinch the series in the North East, in front of what will be a hugely passionate crowd.”

Harker was quick to praise the efforts of everyone involved in bringing international cricket to Durham, and said it was further proof that the appetite for the game is still going strong in the north east.

“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to bring this one day international and next year’s Test match between these two sides to the North East.

“Hopefully, this goes to show once again what a top-class venue Emirates ICG is, and demonstrates that there is a real passion for international sport here in the region.”

Alastair Cook’s men go into tomorrow’s game (10.45am) with a 2-0 lead, but are unable to complete the 5-0 whitewash which would have seen them named the No.1 one day side in the world after their third match was called off at Edgbaston on Wednesday because of persistent rain.

England will be forced to ring the changes for tomorrow’s fourth one-day international against Michael Clarke’s men.

Talismanic spinner Graeme Swann will miss the final two matches of the series to rest the sore elbow in his bowling arm.

Swann will be replaced by fellow off-spinner James Tredwell, while seamer Chris Woakes is in the squad for Jade Dernbach, who has been ruled out with a side strain.