October 23, 1992, Sunderland, Co Durham
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
St Robert of Newminster Catholic Comprehensive School, Washington, Co Durham
Paul Coughlin's move from Durham to Nottinghamshire at the end of the 2017 season was contentious enough for Durham's president, Sir Ian Botham, to call for greater levels of compensation - perhaps even a transfer system - for players developed in county academies who then plied their trade elsewhere. The loss of their T20 skipper completed a demoralising year for Durham which included financial turmoil, the loss of Test status, points sanctions and the departure of several top players.
Nottinghamshire were confident that, at 24, they had secured a dynamic all-round cricketer in Coughlin, who had skippered Durham in T20 cricket in 2017, topping the batting averages with 333 runs at 41.62, as well as taking 13 wickets at 24.84. Durham had not only produced him but guided him through years of back trouble only to lose him as soon as he became a valuable commodity, just one example of a developing transfer market in the county game. Proof of his blossoming reputation came with an immediate call-up for an England Lions training camp in Australia.
Coughlin, born on Wearside, progressed through the Durham academy to make his first class debut against Australia A in 2012, but a stress fracture of the back entailed no 1st X1 cricket the following season. When his Championship debut finally came, though, he certainly made his mark, an innings of 85 against Lancashire representing the highest score at the time by a Durham no 10. In 2015, he helped to turn a Championship game against Somerset on its head, following his second Championship half-century with career-best figures of 4 for 10.
Back trouble continued to plague his early years, but Durham showed how highly they regarded him when he was named captain against Sri Lanka A in his first first-class appearance in 2016. Coughlin's brother Josh, an England Under-19, made his senior debut in the match. That caution also led to him playing as a specialist batsman in late season for the 2nd XI and his 231 - the second highest for the county at that level - helped them to the Second XI Championship. A three-year contract followed at the end of the season.
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