Derybshire CCC promotion is highlight for Wes Durston
Wes Durston will be back in the big time next season after helping Derybshire CCC gain promotion to the top flight of the County Championship.
The Glastonbury cricketer played a starring role as Derbyshire clinched the Division 2 title – their first trophy in 19 years – with victory over Hampshire last week.
Durston has scored almost 1,300 runs across all competitions this summer and enjoyed his best-ever wicket return of 33, while also claiming a remarkable 34 catches.
"I was lucky enough to be part of the Somerset team when we won the second division in 2007 but I didn't feel as much a part of it, only playing three or four games," he said.
"Playing 16 games this season and feeling like I've put in good performances with bat and ball is the highlight of my career so far."
It caps a dream turnaround in fortunes for the 31-year-old, who faced an uncertain future when he was released by Somerset in November 2009 after ten years with his home county.
He was offered a route back into the game the following summer when he was one of 21 players selected to form the first Unicorns squad to take part in the CB40 limited overs competition against the regular first-class counties.
Durston scored a magnificent century against Sussex and was watched that day by former England batsman John Morris, who was coach at Derbyshire at the time.
He offered the former Millfield pupil a one-day contract but his outstanding contribution quickly earned him a full deal with the county, where he scored more than 1,000 first-class runs and was voted player of the season in 2011.
That helped Derbyshire – who had finished bottom of Division 2 the previous year – avoid collecting the wooden spoon.
And the transformation in fortunes started by the appointment of Chris Grant as club chairman and the influx of younger players culminated in last week's success.