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20th February 2009

AOC magazine select Will Smith as One to Watch

AGE: 26

THE BUZZ: New to county captaincy, 2009 should see the very best of the fresh prince of Chester le Street.

THE LOWDOWN – GEOFF COOK, DURHAM DIRECTOR OF CRICKET: “I suppose that picking Will as our captain this season is a bit of a move away from the traditional approach. The British way is to know every nook and cranny of a person’s character before appointing them, but we know he’s not a young man to shy away from making a decision and that he has a cricket brain. The rest we’ll find out as we go along.

“He was omitted from our squad early on in the 2008 season at a time where even he recognised that it was in the best interests of the side. He went away, buried his disappointment, worked out a way forward and came back into the side, scoring a great hundred at Hove against Sussex. From there his season took off. He must have scored 2000 runs for us in all competitions and that’s unusual for a young player. They tend not to have the game to do well in all forms. But Will has a lot of natural ability, which is always a good starting point, he hasn’t a fear of anything quick and when he gets in he has the scope to play big innings.

“To sum up Will’s season for us last year, and what he’s all about, he won games for us with the big innings he played. Statistics are one thing, but it’s the games you win that go the furthest to define a career.”

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