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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Star duo pen new Durham contracts

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Michael di Venuto
Chanderpaul and Di Venuto will form a formidable top order

Durham have re-signed West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Australian Michael di Venuto for 2008.

Both players featured in Durham's most successful ever season in 2007, helping to secure the Friends Provident and Pro40 Division Two titles.

Di Venuto will not count as an overseas player having qualified as an EU resident through an Italian passport.

Chanderpaul will miss the start of the season on international duty, so South African Neil McKenzie will deputise.

Chanderpaul played six one-day and four first-class matches during his first spell in county cricket.

And the former West Indian captain is keen to make a more significant impression in 2008.


"Durham is a club with a big future and, after the success we had last year, we are definitely keen to start the season as we finished," said the 33-year-old veteran of 104 Tests.

Di Venuto, who recently retired as Tasmania's all-time leading run scorer in Australian state cricket, has plenty of county experience having played for Derbyshire and Sussex.

But the forthcoming season will be the first time the 34-year-old does not count as an overseas player.

"It really is a wonderful club to be involved with and my first season here was definitely a happy one," said Di Venuto, who signed a two-year contract.

Durham are also lining up South African Albie Morkel for a role in the Twenty20 Cup.

see also
Durham clinch Lord's trophy glory
19 Aug 07 |  Counties
Durham lift second one-day trophy
15 Sep 07 |  Counties

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