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Matthew Potts targeting Ashes place and success with Durham

Durham and England fast bowler Matthew Potts aims to build on his breakthrough season in 2022 by playing in the Ashes this summer and bringing silverware back to Durham.

Potts’ impressive start to the season last year under the eye of Test captain and friend Ben Stokes led to his first international call-up for the Test series against New Zealand, and he made an immediate impact by having Blackcaps’ skipper Kane Williamson caught behind with just his fourth delivery in Test cricket.

Speaking on how his breakthrough season happened, Potts credits the “unseen yards” and “playing through the pain barrier” as key attributes to both domestic and international success.

“We were playing Glamorgan at home, I rocked up on day 4 with a twinge in my ribs, it was really painful to the point where I couldn’t really breathe or move.

“(Stokes) was in the physio room with me, we’re both getting taped up and I just said to the physio “Give me something strong. I’m gonna go out.” Bowled my first ball, was in absolute agony. But, I got Kieran Carlson out caught behind, and that was noted by Stokes that I played through pain, that I’m willing to put myself through the pain barrier to win.”

Being from Sunderland, Potts prides himself on his grit and is proud of his heritage, which is why he’s desperate to bring silverware back to Durham where their last trophy was in 2014, alongside his ambitions to play in a home Ashes series.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be there (for a home Ashes). But, there is a lot of cricket to be played between now and then. First job is to put my heart and soul into playing for Durham, give it my all and we’ll see where we are. It’s all I can do.”

“I want to win games for Durham, we want to be back up in Division 1 as soon as possible, and I want to fulfil a boyhood dream by playing in an Ashes Test match. I’ve watched Ashes cricket since I was 5, who wouldn’t want to do that?! Being in the trenches with the boys against the Aussies, it’s what dreams are made of.”