Durham have announced a loss of almost £1m in the last financial year, but will not let it deter them from bringing back South African David Miller for their last three Twenty20 Cup group games. They lie third in the northern group and although Miller will miss the July 8 home match against Yorkshire he is expected back for the return at Scarborough on July 10.
There is then a three-week break before the quarter-finals on August 6 and 7, but if Durham qualify coach Geoff Cook expects Miller to stick around. “He’s in the middle of a triangular one-day tournament with South Africa A in Zimbabwe, so a lot will depend on what the South African authorities say,” said Cook.
Initially batting at No 5 with little opportunity to settle in, Miller had a top score of 26 not out in his six innings for Durham before heading for Zimbabwe, where he has scored 12 and nought in his two innings to date.
He has been batting at six in a team captained by Jacques Rudolph, who quit Yorkshire partly in the hope of regaining his Test place. Rudolph scored 98 in a one-run win against Zimbabwe, but his team lost by 60 runs to Australia A, who included ex-Durham Twenty20 man David Warner.
If Durham do reach the quarter-finals they will also have Ben Stokes available. The finger he dislocated after scoring 185 in the County Championship match at home to Lancashire a month ago had to be re-pinned, setting him back slightly. But he could be ready for the next Championship game at Taunton, starting on July 21.
Durham’s development plans remain on target, despite the loss of £938,000 in the financial year to the end of last September. Club officials are confident of a return to profit in 2013, when they stage an Ashes Test, and the financial situation is healthier than at most other counties. Durham’s annual report spoke of a “planned operating loss” and it was stated that the figure was in line with the club’s five-year development plan.
Further losses are expected in 2011 and 2012. Plans to build a 149-bedroom hotel overlooking the River Wear are going ahead as part of the development of the club’s conferencing and leisure facilities and it is hoped this will be completed by 2013.
Chief executive David Harker said: “These results are in line with our long-term financial planning and compare favourably to other Test match venues which do not host Test cricket on an annual basis.”