County news April 4, 2018

Harker's rocky Durham ride comes to a rest

ESPNcricinfo staff

A general view of the Riverside ground © Getty Images

Durham have appointed Tim Bostock as chief executive, a position he will take up in July, with the long-serving David Harker stepping into a non-executive director role.

Harker's move into a less active position ends a dedicated 17-year reign as chief executive which included a rise to become one of county cricket's most prominent clubs, and the advent of international cricket in Chester-le-Street, before a mounting financial crisis which saw them need a bale-out by the ECB and have their Test status withdrawn in the process.

Bostock is a senior executive formerly with National Australia Bank and most recently with the New South Wales government and has extensive experience in the private and public sector in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. A keen cricketer, he played first class cricket in Zimbabwe and minor county cricket for Cheshire.

Bostock arrives at Durham at a challenging time, but he struck an immediate note of optimism, saying: "Our aim is to once again become a force in English cricket, whilst continuing our tradition of developing young talent. We also have some exciting international fixtures to prepare for, including next year's Cricket World Cup."

Durham now claim to be more financially stable than at any time in their history, but they have struggled to attract large Twenty20 crowds to The Riverside, not helped by limited evening transport options to and from the big conurbations of the north-east. They also failed to be named as one of the eight centres in the new tournament, beginning in 2020.

Chairman Sir Ian Botham said, "Following the completion of the financial restructuring I have been working with David and our fellow directors to draft a new business plan, put together a new board of directors and recruit a chief executive to lead the next stage of the club's development. Recruiting Tim is a great coup."