IT has been an emotional last few days.
I’ve been at Durham for 11 years and it’s the end of an era for me after I was told they wouldn’t be renewing my contract next season.
It didn’t come as too much of a shock. Last year, there was uncertainty as well before I was handed a new contract, so there was always the feeling in my mind that this could be my final season with the county.
First and foremost, I just want to say thanks to everyone at Durham for all the opportunities they’ve given me over the years, and to the players – past and present – and fans.
I’ve had a fantastic time at the club, and enjoyed the success we’ve had, playing a small role in it.
I’ve been asked plenty of times over the last few days, but it’s hard to pick a favourite moment out. The success we’ve had over the whole period has been amazing, winning five trophies in my 11 years here.
It’s all helped turn the club around from when I arrived in 2004 to where it is now, which is unrecognisable.
That success is down to people like Dale Benkenstein, Steve Harmison, Paul Collingwood, Michael Di Venuto, Mike Hussey and Geoff Cook, not me.
They are the people who have done the hard work. My role was to support them and back them up, and hopefully through that I have contributed a little bit.
If I had to choose a best moment it would be the Friends Provident Trophy final at Lord’s in 2007. It was Durham’s first major trophy and to do it in their first-ever appearance at Lord’s was very special.
I would love to go out on a high with a return to Lord’s with Durham in the Royal London Cup. Hopefully we can get to the quarter-finals, then the semis, and then go all the way.
It would be lovely to sign off at Lord’s but not everyone gets their dream finish.
After that, I really don’t know what the future holds. All I’m focused on right now is trying to finish my stint with Durham as well as I can.
Then, after the next four weeks, we’ll see what happens.
I’m 38. There’s possibly not too many options for me. I might only have another two years of playing.
I’ll just have to weigh up whatever offers come my way and then take that next step, whichever direction it’s in.
I’ve enjoyed playing and, touch wood, I’ve generally managed to stay on the pitch. I’ve had a few little niggles over the last couple of years, but nothing serious and I’m hoping that continues until the end of September.
I would love to try to keep playing but I will have to weigh up all of the options. It might be that there is more of a future for me in other areas.
I’ve done a bit of coaching at Durham recently with the youngsters, but I won’t be staying in that capacity either. It’s a clean slate and a fresh start.
I’ve enjoyed the coaching experience, to be honest, and it’s been interesting working with the younger players.
But it hasn’t replaced the passion I’ve got for playing so I haven’t got into it too much.
Hopefully, moving forward, I’ll be able to replace the intensity and buzz you get from being out on the field playing.
I’ve loved my time in the North East. I’m settled here, my wife’s settled and so are my kids. I’ve got two young children and I don’t think I’d like to move from the North East, but it depends on what opportunities come up.
I’ve made some really good friends up here, both on and off the field. I’m happy here and so are my family, but now we are embarking on a new episode.
We will have to see what options come up before I can make a decision, but if there was an opportunity here in the North East, it would be the preferred choice.
Nobody has a right to say that they deserve to get certain opportunities, but I’m just hoping that my reputation holds me in good stead with people.