Durham may have shown in 2013 that a star overseas isn’t a requirement to a successful campaign as they lifted the County Championship trophy without having an overseas in their squad.
But there is little doubt that they can add a new element to a squad and provide crucial top-level experience in a dressing room. Here we look at Durham’s five best overseas recruits this decade.
1. John Hastings – 2014 – 2015
Singled out by praise as one of the best overseas players Paul Collingwood has seen at Durham, the burly all-rounder made a big impact on the North East across his two seasons at the club.
A powerful lower-order striker and a reliable bowler capable of bowling a heavy ball, Hastings impressed enough in his first season enough to be retained for 2015.
2015 was when he really shined in Durham colours as he picked up 76 first-class wickets and his useful contributions with the bat combined to ensure he was one of the five most valuable county players that year according to the PCA.
2. Tom Latham – 2017 – 2018
Latham was already familiar to the region when he arrived at the Riverside having been part of the Durham academy as a kid and having learnt his trade playing for South Shields in the North East Premier League.
He arrived to replace Stephen Cook in the second half of the 2017 season and was a much bigger success than his predecessor contributing vital runs.
He was rewarded on his return in 2018 with the white ball captaincy. He had some success as captain, taking the side to Blast quarter-final appearance with Latham himself leading the club’s scoring charts win 470 runs in the competition.
3. Cameron Bancroft – 2019
Bancroft was one of Durham’s most controversial additions to their squad and that controversy was only exacerbated when he was appointed captain before he’d even set foot in the Riverside.
Yet the Australian opener immediately delivered for James Franklin’s side. Bancroft chalked up 726 runs at a shade over 45 before taking his performances to a new level in the One Day Cup as he scored 377 runs at an average of 94.25 before he had to cut his time at the club short due to international duty.
He will get another chance to impress though as he’s re-signed for the 2020 season and is expected to be available for the entire summer.
4. D’Arcy Short – 2019
Short may have only been at the club for one season and only played the T20 Blast fixtures, but his return was so impressive he gets a spot on this list.
Short was part of a record-breaking opening pair with academy graduate Scott Steel. The highlight being a 133 run opening stand in a nine-wicket win against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
This explosive run-scoring combined with some handy leg-spin ensured he won the PCA Most Valuable Player award for the 2019 Blast, 25 MVP points ahead of the next highest placed player.
5. Imran Tahir – 2018
Another who made a big impact in a short spell of time. The veteran leg-spinner’s wicket-taking abilities and his exuberant celebrations made him a crowd favourite at the Riverside.
The South African picked up 15 wickets in the eight games he played in Durham colours with a stunning economy rate of 6.34 per over.
The highlight of his campaign being an excellent spell of 4-14 as he spun Durham to victory over Leicestershire.