Keaton Jennings has signed a new four-year deal to remain at Durham. Jennings, who had been out of contract at the end of the season, had emerged as a target of several rival clubs with Warwickshire having held talks with him in recent days and seeing him as a potential leader of their side.
But, despite their well-documented financial pressures, Durham have been able to hang on to Jennings and have now secured him on a long-term deal. He has stood-in as captain in recent days and looks a potential club captain of the near future.
Despite being born in Johannesburg, Jennings emerged through the Durham academy and made his first team debut for the club in 2012. A solid, patient, top-order batsman, he is currently the top run-scorer in the top division of the County Championship and has emerged as a valuable medium-pace bowler in limited-overs cricket. Aged just 24, he has the bulk of his career ahead of him.
"Durham has afforded me the opportunity over the past few years to learn the trade and start to build a career and I am grateful for their support," Jennings said. "As a team, we have an exciting future ahead in search of the same success that we experienced in 2013 and 2014. It's a privilege to be part of this environment and I'm looking forward to adding value where possible."
The singing will come as a considerable relief to Durham. Already resigned to losing Mark Stoneman to Surrey, there have been fears that the club could lose several other top players to rival clubs as money troubles inhibit their ability to pay comparable wages. But news of Jenning's new contract will boost hopes they can also retain the services of Scott Borthwick and Mark Wood.
The news will be a setback to Warwickshire, though. Having lost the service of Varun Chopra, who has announced he is returning to Essex at the end of the season, the club were hoping to sign a replacement top-order batsman with many years in front of him. Jennings fitted the bill perfectly.