Durham County Cricket Club win County Championship

Durham secured their third County Championship in six years yesterday, but Paul Collingwood and Geoff Cook want more

Graham Onions kisses the LV= County Championship trophy as Paul Collingwood and team-mates look on
Graham Onions kisses the LV= County Championship trophy as Paul Collingwood and team-mates look on

No sooner had Durham won their third County Championship in six years than Paul Collingwood and Geoff Cook were urging them to make sure it was the start, not the end, of something special.

Since the Championship split into two divisions in 2000, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire have been relegated the season after winning the title.

Durham followed their 2008 success with another 12 months later.

A repeat could be difficult with the squad to be cut this winter, but captain Collingwood wants his team to keep progressing after securing the title with an eight-wicket win over Nottinghamshire.

He stressed: “That’s not the end of the development. That side is very young. Hopefully, over the next five or 10 years, they’ll keep improving all the time.”

Durham’s under-17s received their own Championship before the seniors yesterday. It summed up a forward-thinking county.

Collingwood added: “A lot of the decisions we’ve made in the past year and a half are not ones which are just going to work in the next six months or for a year.

“You have to make decisions for the next five or 10 years down the line, creating a culture at the club and giving the youngsters confidence. 2014 is the last year of my contract. I am not happy just winning it once. I want to do it again.”

Coach Cook, who will consider his future after a heart attack in June, added: “One of the aims is to keep moving forward, consolidate our position as a decent team and if we get a chance to win something next year, try and do that again. I’m determined apathy doesn’t creep in.”

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