Phil Mustard says he is looking to “take up a new challenge” in his cricket career after coming to the end of his Durham days.
The wicketkeeper is leaving his home county at the end of the season but says he will NOT be retiring.
It is the right time for me to take up a new challenge in my career with a different clubPHIL MUSTARD
It is the end of an era for Mustard and Durham after a highly-successful 16-year association between the two parties.
The 33-year-old has won three County Championship titles plus the Friends Provident Trophy and Royal London One Day Cup in a glittering career, as well as representing England 10 times in ODIs.
But for the past two summers, the Sunderland sporting hero has found himself being a part-time Durham player.
Michael Richardson has been give the gloves in the Specsavers Country Championship, with Mustard appearing only in the coloured-clothing formats while playing league cricket locally.
This summer, Mustard has played for Hartlepool in the NYSD Premier League, scoring a superb 135 in their draw at Great Ayton on Saturday. To be fair to the cricketer, affectionately known as ‘colonel’ he remains a potent force for Durham in one-day cricket.
The county’s record T20 run-getter was the joint top scorer on Friday night as Durham Jets kept their T20 hopes alive with victory over Northants at the Emirates.
But Durham seemed reluctant to keep a player who is known to command a high salary for only half the season.
“I have achieved great success, winning the Championship three times, and the one-day competition twice,” said Mustard.
“However, it is the right time for me to take up a new challenge in my career with a different club.”
The left-hander said it was an unhappy moment to be told he would not be offered a new contract.
But he added that he did not take up the chance to leave immediately and said he wanted to play out the remainder of his benefit year and try to help Durham to more glory.
“I still think I’ve got a job to do to help the team to win more silverware,” he said. “I’m proud to say I’ve been part of every trophy-winning team Durham have had.”