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22nd March 2010

Durham take to the air…Incoming – India; Outgoing – Dubai

The team were waiting for the inbound flight from Dubai to arrive at the airport before they could board at around lunch time today.   Interestingly, Durham County Cricket Club Chief Executive, David Harker, and Chairman, Clive W Leach CBE, were on the plane returning from a business trip to India where they had been invited by Chennai based Durham sponsors, 5G.

Whilst there Clive Leach took the opportunity to introduce Durham CCC to his counterpart at the Chennai Super Kings, where former Durham Twenty20 star Albie Morkel is currently playing in the IPL and former Durham captain Mike Hussey played in the inaugural season of the competition.

Speaking to The Times of India Durham CCC Chairman, Clive W Leach CBE, said, “Our main aim is brand development and forming a stronger cricket team and for both the purposes, CSK can be an excellent partner for us.

“We won the LV= County Championship last year and have four titles in the last three years. Our academy is rated as one of the best in England and if we get a chance to work with CSK, we’ll look at players’ exchange so that young cricketers from both the places get maximum exposure.

“It would be a fantastic opportunity for the young players of our academy to come to Chennai and learn the tricks of the trade against quality spinners.”

Durham CCC would be interested in closer working relationships with any of the IPL teams however Clive identified characteristics of the Chennai region which he felt matched the set up at Durham.

“While Durham is situated in the north-eastern part of England which is pretty much away from the centre of activities, Chennai is also a little away from the hub. There’s a quiet sense of purpose to which both Durham and Chennai work, away from the hype and hoopla,” Leach said.

The CSK bosses also seemed to be open to the idea of a probable tie-up either. “We’ll discuss it with them before taking a decision. At present, it sounds an interesting proposition,” a CSK official said.

Durham CCC Chief Executive, David Harker, added “We had a really positive visit to Chennai, it was fantastic to experience cricket in India and witness the IPL in action.”