Durham out to place ‘haters to mattress’ with entertaining strategy


Matthew Potts says Durham will try to do for county cricket what England have performed for the Take a look at recreation, replicating the so-called ‘Bazball’ blueprint and making a buzz that ‘places the haters to mattress’.

Potts has been round Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum lengthy sufficient to keep away from the ‘B’ phrase – unloved by these in command of the nationwide aspect’s red-ball revolution – however is a real believer within the fearless strategy it describes.

He performed 5 instances below the pair final summer time, impressing with 20 wickets, and was watching from the sidelines in February when England misplaced an unforgettable recreation in opposition to New Zealand by a single run, having requested the hosts to comply with on at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.

Matthew Potts in action for Durham
Matthew Potts in motion for Durham (Mike Egerton/PA)

Stokes and McCullum have spoken incessantly about their mission to reinvigorate the broader Take a look at recreation and Potts has one thing related in thoughts when the LV= County Championship will get below manner subsequent week.

“Everybody was saying Take a look at cricket was dying. Effectively, I don’t see that now, do you? Not from what I used to be a part of final summer time, not from what I’ve seen since,” he advised the PA information company and The Cricketer.

“You wish to entertain. How else will we maintain this sport going and maintain the funds coming in to maintain the whole lot operating across the nation? You want folks shopping for tickets.

“Are folks going to purchase tickets based mostly on what they noticed in Wellington? Completely. Anybody that paid to see that Take a look at match completely acquired their cash’s price. That’s what we’re about – giving again to the folks that assist us one thing that’s thrilling, refreshing.

“We wish to win in any respect prices and the associated fee that point was dropping. You roll the cube, as a result of it’s higher than not rolling the cube.

“We’re making an attempt to place the haters that say Take a look at cricket is dying or first-class cricket is changing into meaningless to mattress actually. At Durham we’re going to try to mirror to some extent what the England crew are doing.

“That aligns with the values we’ve right here. We wish to be courageous, we wish to at all times take the optimistic choice and put our greatest foot ahead.”

As a key a part of Durham’s bold new strategy, Potts means that the county have adopted their star man Stokes in declaring warfare on the draw. Durham drew eight of their 14 video games in Division Two final time period however at the moment are priming themselves to eradicate the consequence solely.

“It’s worse than a loss. You’d slightly lose each recreation this yr and know you’re doing it with the best intent to try to win the sport,” mentioned Potts.

“The draw doesn’t undergo my head. We’ve at all times felt a draw is a final resort, however a loss is best now. If we do get a draw it received’t be as a result of we’ve created it, it will likely be us bowling to win and another person blocking out. That’s the one manner it comes about. It received’t be us blocking for the draw, I can promise that proper now. That’s not how we wish to play.”

On a private stage, the 24-year-old is trying to replicate his sterling kind from 2022 when he took 58 wickets at 17.87 and catapulted himself from promising teenager to fully-fledged worldwide.

England’s deep bowling shares have crowded him out over the winter, however, with a densely-packed Ashes marketing campaign on the horizon, he’s targeted on the duty at hand.

Matthew Potts celebrates a wicket for England
Matthew Potts celebrates a wicket for England (Mike Egerton/PA)

“An Ashes summer time is a dream, it has been since I used to be slightly boy, however you possibly can’t let that obscure what’s earlier than,” he mentioned.

“There’s a very long time earlier than the Ashes begins. There’s lots that should go on carrying the Durham badge firstly.

“I feel England know what I’m able to, I’ve proven a glimpse of that, however the ability is to maintain doing it yr on yr.

“This yr is a giant problem to bolster the performances from final season and the way in which I get into that crew is simply repeatedly knocking.”



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