Durham have named James Franklin head coach for the next two years.
The club has confirmed the former New Zealand allrounder’s appointment to the role of Lead High Performance Coach, as reported by ESPNCricinfo two weeks ago.
Franklin, who captained Middlesex to the County Championship title in 2016, said he was delighted by the opportunity to work towards returning Durham to the upper echelons of domestic cricket.
“There is no doubt that it has been a challenging couple of years for Durham but now it is about moving forward, making progress both on and off the field and once again striving to make Durham one of the powers of the English domestic competition,” Franklin said.
“I really hope we can make all our loyal, passionate supporters proud of us as a club as we work incredibly hard to achieve our goals for 2019 and beyond.”
Durham director of cricket Marcus North said: “Following an extensive recruitment process it became clear that James was by far the best fit for Durham. I am extremely excited for James’s arrival and look forward to working with him during this new chapter for Durham Cricket.”
Franklin, a coaching consultant with BBL side Brisbane Heat who played 31 Tests and 110 ODIs for New Zealand, will arrive next month for Durham’s pre-season preparations.
He replaces Jon Lewis, who left Durham in December amid the club’s planned coaching restructure and subsequently became Sri Lanka’s batting coach. Lewis had led Durham to the County Championship title in 2013, the Royal London Cup in 2014 and to T20 Finals Day in 2016.
Durham were relegated from the County Championship top flight and penalised for the 2017 season as part of a financial bailout package agreed with the ECB. The club finished the 2018 season eighth in the 10-team Division Two.
Neil Killeen has been named as Durham’s Assistant Lead and Bowling High Performance Coach, while fellow Durham stalwart Alan Walker will become High Performance Assistant Coach with a focus on second team cricket. The club plans to appoint a high-performance batting consultant soon.