Eckersley hopes for Durham chance

14 March 2019 13:27:33 EST

Ned Eckersley hast travelled to South Africa with Durham as he attempts to win a full-time deal at the Emirates Riverside.

The 29-year-old former Leicestershire wicketkeeper-batsman is part of a 17-man squad that will spend a dozen days based in Potchefstroom.

Eckersley was released by the Foxes last September following a couple of disappointing seasons.

However, he has 14 first-class hundreds and an average in excess of 30 in a career that was launched in earnest back in 2011 and Durham are short of a middle-order player following Paul Collingwood's retirement.

Durham play two-day matches against Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire plus a one-day fixture versus local opposition during their trip.

"We've got a huge couple of weeks in terms of our pre-season and getting ready for early April back here so I'm looking forward to seeing the guys get outside," the club's new lead coach James Franklin said.

"Because I'm new to this role, I'm looking to see how guys compete on the field and how they interact with each other in different roles.

"Performances are only one aspect, it's how they work together, interact with each other in the changing rooms and training, and away from cricket to see how they work.

"If guys play well, it's good to see how their character is and equally if they don't have a good day, how they react there as well."

Durham are 25/1 to win County Championship Division Two this season, with Lancashire 13/8 and Middlesex 11/4.

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