Durham: New head coach appointment aim for the new year, says Marcus North

Paul Collingwood and Jon Lewis
Paul Collingwood retired after the 2018 season and head coach Jon Lewis also left Durham

Durham hope to name a successor to former head coach Jon Lewis "by the end of January", director of cricket Marcus North has said.

Lewis ended a 21-year association with the club when he departed following a restructure of cricket operations earlier this month.

Former Australia Test player North rejoined his old county in his current role in September.

"If it takes a bit longer that's fine," the 39-year-old told BBC Look North.

"I guess Christmas has come right in the middle of this time, things tend to shut down but we'll be working tirelessly hard, speaking to potential options.

"The guys are in safe hands over the next couple of months, but there will be respect to do the process properly and get the right person for the key roles.

"It would be nice to get something tied up by the end of January."

Much has changed at Durham off the field since their three County Championship wins in 2008, 2009 and 2013.

Financial issues, which required aid from the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2016 to bail the club out, saw the county relegated, given points deductions across the formats and their Riverside ground stripped of Test status.

There has been a tightening of budgets since, and a focus on academy success.

"The key focus is for us to produce our own players," North continued.

"We've seen a great pathway with England players coming out of that academy into first class and then Test cricket.

"The people we bring in will have to have those qualities, fitting into a young squad and having that chemistry."

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