G Force: We’d all love to have Hasto back for Lord’s final

Gareth Breese and Gordon Muchall.
Gareth Breese and Gordon Muchall.
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THERE’S a battle for Hastings brewing – and we’d love it if Durham could come out on top.

John Hastings has been brilliant for us since he joined as overseas professional in May, but just as we reach a Lord’s final, he will be leaving us.

Hasto flies off to the Champions League on Friday after the end of our four-day game against Middlesex, but he’s now trying to get back for Royal London One Day Final.

It would be brilliant if we could get him back, especially given the way he’s been playing with both bat and ball.

There’s a small gap in the schedule for Chennai Super Kings and Hasto’s hopeful he can persuade them to jet back for the final.

It may be that they don’t need him, or that he’s not playing much.

If we have the chance to get him back for the final, it would be great.

He’s become such an important part of our team, and his hitting at the death of an innings is a great asset.

On the field, John’s statistics speak for themselves. He’s probably top of the averages in the bowling, and he’s played some handy knocks for us in all forms of the game too.

He would be right up there in the MVP rankings if he’s been with us all season – he never seems to not perform.

I know the club are trying to get him back as overseas player next season, but I’m sure there will be a lot of other clubs looking at him too because of the way he’s performed for us.

He’s a really experienced player. Hasto’s played a lot of cricket all over the world and he brings that experience to Durham. He speaks really well in team meetings and the players respect and listen to him.

But he’s also the life and soul of the party too, and we just hope he’s back for what could be the biggest party of our season.

If not, hopefully Varun Aaron will be able to play.

I’m not sure if he will be available for the final but he’s certainly available for our last two Championship matches.

Aaron actually joined us at Lord’s yesterday and a few of the lads had a net with him while the first day’s play of our game against Middlesex.

They said it wasn’t much fun – he’s seriously quick and will be a fantastic asset for us for the time he’s here.

It’s not been difficult for us to focus on the Championship game this week, despite the euphoria of Saturday’s victory over Notts. Jon Lewis sat us down at the start and said the Championship must be the priority.

Being at Lord’s, and knowing we’ll be coming back for the final, was on everyone’s mind, but I think the position we’re in in the league, with relegation still a possibility, we knew there’s lots to play for in the four-day game still.

It’s a cliche, but we’ve got to take each game as it comes, and there’s this one and the Championship match against Notts next week before the final.

Maybe it was on our mind still a bit when we lost three quick wickets yesterday, but Scotty Borthwick played brilliantly, and put us in a good position.

Unfortunately I couldn’t add to the score, but Paul Collingwood became the highest first-class run scorer in Durham’s history, beating Dale Benkenstein.

It’s something Colly will treasure, being a local lad, and to pass someone like Benks who contributed so much to Durham is a great achievement from him.