Paul Collingwood targets promotion back to Division One after penning new Durham contract

Paul Collingwood hits out in the T20 this summer.
Paul Collingwood hits out in the T20 this summer.
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Paul Collingwood is aiming for promotion with Durham next summer – after penning a new contract at the Emirates Riverside.

The 41-year-old all-rounder, a three-time award winner at Durham’s Player of the Year Dinner, averaging 49.40 in the Championship this year as he passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season.

“I’ve proven this season that I still have a lot to offer and I feel my role at Durham is still important in helping develop the next generation of Durham cricketers,” said Collingwood.

“I know that this club still has so much to offer English cricket and, despite a challenging season, I still feel we can compete for promotion back to the First Division in 2018.

“We will keep fighting, that’s the Durham spirit, we will keep giving opportunities to home grown players and offering chances for them to play first-class cricket.

“We have to fight right from the top to the bottom of the club. Durham is a fantastic place to play and they have given me everything over the years.

“I will try and help them right until I have zero energy left. At the minute, I still have plenty.

“I am so proud to still be playing for my home county, who have given me the perfect environment to fulfil all of my cricketing dreams.”

Chairman Ian Botham said: “To keep a player of Paul’s experience and ability at the club is a massive bonus as we continue to strive for promotion back to the top division.

“Paul epitomise the values of Durham CCC, both on and off the field, as well as still being a fine player who leads from the front in the role of club captain.

“We are delighted to have his services in 2018.”

Meanwhile, Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes will not travel with the England squad to Australia when the Ashes tour party leaves on October 28.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have said the 26-year-old is not being ruled out of the series, but his departure is at least being delayed due to an ongoing police investigation.

The England vice-captain was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last month. He was released without charge but remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, Middlesex seamer Steven Finn has been added to the Ashes touring squad, with the first Test looming fast on November 23.

In a separate disciplinary matter, the ECB has fined and issued written warnings to Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett following an investigation into behaviour during the recent one-day series against West Indies.

The developments overshadowed the ECB’s contracts announcement.

Ball was awarded a white-ball contract for the first time, while Toby Roland-Jones was given an incremental contract. Bairstow received a white-ball deal alongside his Test one, while Durham’s Mark Wood was switched from the Test list to limited overs.