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27th September 2009

Durham record unbeaten season in four day cricket for 09

“It was 16 pretty tough four-day games and to end the season unbeaten is phenomenal and doesn’t happen very often.  To win eight games was a phenomenal effort.

“Last year we weren’t far off the level we have been this year, it’s just that at key moments last year games went against us. This year at all the key moments seemed to all go for us which is a sign that we’ve got the right players with the right temperament.

“In terms of level of performance we’re probably more consistent but I don’t think it’s far better than last year. Last year we were very good but it’s been more consistent this year from a larger number of people.  Last year there were probably less people contributing on a regular basis. This year everyone’s contributed at some stage. It’s a good sign and the consistency is the main thing. That’s where we can improve our one-day cricket next year, definitely.

“We can still improve at four-day cricket and we’ll have to just to stay at the level we’re at. Teams will try to get nearer to us but it’s a good place to be in at the moment.  Even the more senior guys have got a number of years ahead of them. Diva’s playing as well I’m sure as he’s ever played, I’m sure he’ll happily admit that. Benks will carry on for another however many years he wants to. Even the senior guys will feel there are improvements they can make.

“The great thing is you’ve got the guys underneath that, the late 20-somethings, who are still learning masses about their game – people like Mark Davies, myself and Liam Plunkett. We’ve got a hell of a lot of improvement we know we can make and we want to make. It’s frightening really when you think where we can take it. I don’t think we can get complacent with it, but it’s a great thing and in the next few years hopefully we will take that improvement on”, said Smith.