• Durham contract extension for former Gauteng batsman

    The Johannesburg-born Gareth Harte has been afforded a contract extension by Durham until 2020.

    The 25-year-old Harte, who previously played for Gauteng U19, struck a second first-class century in the County Championship Division Two in late September in Chester-le-Street.

    His maiden ton arrived in June, when a commanding 114 contributed to a convincing 95-run win over Derbyshire, also in Chester-le-Street. That century was scored against a Derbyshire attack spearheaded by South African fast bowlers Duanne Olivier and Hardus Viljoen.

    Leg-spinner Ben Whitehead has also signed a new two-year contract.

    ‘We’re pleased to have extended both players’ contracts for another couple of seasons. I was impressed with the skills they demonstrated during this year’s campaign and both have now been given the platform to continue to develop and establish themselves as first-team players,’ said Durham head coach Jon Lewis.

    ‘Gareth proved his batting potential with two impressive hundreds in the Championship and also offers us an option with the ball, which he proved by taking six wickets across all formats. Ben’s bowling in the Vitality Blast was impressive and he helped us secure a home quarter-final. He’s still young and it is now up to him to prove he can contribute across all formats.’

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    Jonhenry Wilson