DURHAM coach Jon Lewis described Gareth Breese as a ‘legend’ after it was revealed the spinner is set to leave the club at the end of the season.
Long-serving Breese, who has starred with both bat and ball, has spent more than a decade at the county.
A full international with the West Indies, Breese moved from Jamaica in 2004 and settled quickly in the North East, helping Durham win three County Championships and the Friends Provident Trophy at Lord’s in 2007.
The Gazette columnist said: “It’s been a very enjoyable time for me
“Over the past 11 years, I’ve grown as a player, coach and a person and most importantly formed some great friendships on and off the field.
“The highlights have been the successes we’ve had, not necessarily personal, but just winning trophies as part of a team.
“The one that means the most to me was the 2007 Friends Provident Trophy at Lord’s, that’s the one that really stands out.
“I’d like to thank Durham County Cricket Club for all the opportunities they’ve given me over the years and really thank the players, both past and present, for all their wonderful support.
“For the immediate future, I’m going to do all I can to try and get us as far as we can in the Royal London tournament and hopefully I’ve got a few more performances in me to try and take us all the way.
“That’s as far as I’m looking right now.”
The 38-year-old made his first class debut for Durham against Derbyshire and hit a superb 165 in a dramatic one-wicket win over Somerset later that year.
Another unbeaten century against Kent four years later secured a maiden county championship title and Breese has also proved to be a key performer in limited overs cricket.
The off-spinner has taken 150 wickets in 150 List A appearances, and passed a century of Twenty20 appearances during the current campaign, finishing with 93 wickets in 106 matches.
As well as his consistent performances on the pitch, the Jamaican has been working as a spin coach with the club’s academy.
Along with his good friend Gordon Muchall, Breese was handed a benefit year for 2014 and the pair selected Macmillan Cancer Support, The North East Autism Society and The PCA Benevolent Fund as their chosen charities.
Head Coach Jon Lewis added: “Gareth has turned himself into a bit of a legend at the club.
“He’s been an outstanding servant, a really good team man and a positive guy to have in the dressing room all the time.
“It’s always been a big part of Gareth that he puts others before himself and that’s what has made him so popular.
“He’s been an incredibly consistent performer and a match-winner with both bat and ball.”