Durham, on Wednesday (January 30), appointed former New Zealand allrounder James Franklin as their head coach. The county confirmed the development on their website while also stating that the 38-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will begin work from February.
Former Durham players Neil Kileen and Alan Walker will help Franklin as the bowling and assistant coaches respectively. Both Kileen and Walker have signed contract extensions.
“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to lead coaching at Durham,” Franklin said. “I can’t wait to join up with the squad and staff. There’s no doubt it’s been a challenging couple of years for Durham. But now it’s about moving forward, making progress both on and off the field and once again striving to make Durham one of the powers of the English domestic competition.”
Franklin has replaced Jon Lewis as the Durham coach. Lewis had stepped down from the post in December after a ‘review of cricket operations’ at the club, ending a 21-year association with the county that he joined in 1997.
Franklin represented New Zealand in 31 Tests, 110 One-Day Internationals as well as 8 T20 Internationals. The left-armer, who has a Test hat-trick to his name, ended his career with over 2,500 international runs and 183 wickets. He also scored one century and eight fifties across formats.
The Kiwi allrounder also had a notable first-class career where he played 206 games, scoring 9,780 runs in addition to picking up 479 wickets. He also has a good experience of playing in England, having played County Cricket for four teams – Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Middlesex. He captained Middlesex to the Championship title in 2016.
Franklin will now be looking to revive Durham’s fortunes in the upcoming season. Durham, who had won the County Championship in 2013, finished eighth in the Division Two standings last year.