DURHAM ace Phil Mustard says his side must hit the ground running when the T20 campaign begins tomorrow.
The Dynamos entertain Warwickshire Bears (5.40pm start) at the Emirates ICG in their opening encounter, and Mustard says it’s imperative that they get off to a good start.
“We want to do well in all competitions this season, but making progress in the T20 in particular is something we have spoken about as a squad,” he said.
“To do that we need to make sure we get off to a good start. T20 is a explosive form of cricket, and there is a danger that it can pass you by if you aren’t fully focused.
“That’s why we have got to make sure we are ready to go from the off. It is important to build up momentum in any form of the sport, and if we get a win under our belts in our first game it gives us a platform to build on.”
Durham could welcome back England star Paul Collingwood for the match.
Collingwood, who retired from Test cricket in the winter, has declared himself available for the whole of his county’s T20 campaign.
However, having recently undergone knee surgery, the all-rounder will assess his fitness before declaring whether or not he will face the Bears.
Should he make the clash, Mustard admits that Collingwood’s inclusion would be a real boost for the Dynamos.
He said: “We all know what qualities Colly brings to the table. You don’t get to achieve what he has done for England unless you are a top player.
“It will be great to see him back playing for Durham again, and hopefully he can play a big part in helping us to enjoy a successful campaign.”
Durham will also add the talents of South African David Miller to their T20 squad, the powerful, 21-year-old batsman having flown into the UK yesterday to acclaim from Dale Benkenstein, who said: “I’d say his batting is like a Yuvraj Singh or a Lance Klusener.”
However, they do have a doubt over the availability of Ben Stokes, who was taken to hospital with a dislocated finger suffered in their County Championship match against Lancashire – sustained when trying to catch a fierce cut from Lancashire’s Paul Horton.