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Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Friday, 22 October 2010 11:53 UK

Durham sign Barbados-born trialist Ruel Brathwaite

Ruel Brathwaite
Brathwaite took four wickets in Durham's draw with Somerset

Durham have signed Barbadian seamer Ruel Brathwaite on a two-year deal, following a successful trial with the county last season.

The 25-year-old made his debut against Somerset in the final game of the 2010 campaign, having previously spent time with the county's second string.

"I was delighted to be offered a contract with Durham after my initial spell," Brathwaite said.

"I'm excited for the opportunity ahead and looking forward to making my mark."

Head coach Geoff Cook added: "Ruel has a great attitude and real enthusiasm about the game which really fits well in our dressing room.

"We'll be working closely with him to finalise his status as English qualified.

"We're pleased that, despite offers from other counties, he decided to commit to Durham."

Brathwaite was discovered in unusual circumstances, thanks to Durham's England international Paul Collingwood.

"I was at The Oval, net bowling to England-Pakistan, I impressed a few of the lads, a few of the coaches, Paul Collingwood got on the phone to Jon Lewis, the second XI coach [at Durham], and they organised a trial for me," Brathwaite told BBC Newcastle.

"I went to Hampshire to play and took a couple of wickets, then got a late call to travel down with the team.

"I've been here seven or eight years, studying and playing cricket.

"I played junior cricket in the West Indies, but because I got a scholarship over here when I was 17, I was playing cricket here since that time.

"All of my first-class games bar one have been over here."

Brathwaite, who has appeared for West Indies A, Cambridge and Loughborough Universities and the Marylebone Cricket Club, took four wickets on his first-class debut for Durham against Somerset last season.

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