Durham’s Stoneman sets sights on one-day success

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NEW limited overs captain Mark Stoneman is hoping that Durham will be able to compete for titles in the shorter format of the game, writes BEN SMITH.

The 2013 County Championship winners haven’t won a limited overs title since winning the now defunct Friends Provident Trophy in 2007.

But Stoneman, who succeeds Dale Benkenstein, remains positive ahead of the new season

The 26-year-old said: “Moving forwards from the last couple of years, we’ve got some good plans in place for one-day cricket.

“We’ve got a good basis moving forward to be in contention for titles.”

Last season, Stoneman often stood in as captain for Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood when they were injured, and he believes the experience helped him.

But, he paid particular tribute to his former mentor Michael Di Venuto who retired in 2012.

The left-hander said: “The thing I learned through him was try to keep things level.

“Get your routines sorted, stick with it, and trust what you’re doing.”

There is a feeling at Durham that they may have been approaching limited overs cricket in the wrong way, but now they believe they have got it right moving forward.

Stoneman added: “I just think that we maybe played it with individuals going out to win the game, and relying on a bit of individual brilliance.

“I think now we’ve got bit more of a system in place where lads are identified in roles throughout the order.”

The signing of Australian John Hastings ahead of the new season will boost Durham, with him joining after he completes his contract with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

And Stoneman is pleased to be able to call on the Aussie ace, who will be available for all formats this summer.

He said: “John joins us with international, and obviously IPL, experience so he will bring new, and separate opinions to the group, which isn’t a bad thing.”

The first competitive game for Stoneman as full-time skipper will be when Durham play Worcestershire in the NatWest T20 Blast on May 16.