To mark the 50th anniversary of overseas players coming to county cricket in large numbers, we’ve asked an expert on each county to pick their top three for that club. Here’s Durham, as selected by Paul Collingwood, Durham’s captain now in his 23rd season with the club.
1. MIKE HUSSEY
His standards were so high and he was obviously an exceptional player. In his first game for us he scored 200 (and finished the 2005 campaign with 1,074 first-class runs at 77). What he brought to the dressing room was a high level of energy. Everything he did was with enthusiasm and he injected a belief that Durham belonged in first-class cricket. It wasn’t always necessarily what he did personally, but he brought the best out in people and led from the front.
2. JOHN HASTINGS
The ultimate team man. John was a huge unit physically but an even bigger character to have in the dressing room. From the moment he arrived you’d have thought he’d been playing for Durham for 20 years. He would do anything for the badge. It’s an amazing skill he has – an incredible desire. He’d run through a brick wall for you.
He can hit a ball, too. I remember him smacking Northants all over the place in a T20 game. I think he got 80-odd in about 22 balls. It was absolutely brutal. The power he had as a batsman was incredible. He was probably more suited to the one-day stuff but gave everything in whatever format he played.
3. DAVID BOON
Boony brought an Aussie mentality and steeliness to the dressing room. He was a really good guy to bat with and talk cricket with and just to have an Australian legend at the club gave everybody a bit of confidence. We’d heard all the stories about Boony – drinking 52 cans on a flight over from Australia and all that – and don’t get me wrong he loved a beer – but he was actually quite a quiet character.