Latham signs for Durham


New Zealand opening batsman Tom Latham will join Durham CCC as the club’s overseas player for the second half of the 2017 season.

The left-hander has agreed terms for a return to the club after the conclusion of the ICC Champions Trophy and will take over the reins from Stephen Cook.

The 24-year-old has become a key feature of the New Zealand international side and hit career-best scores in both Tests and ODIs during the recent series against Bangladesh.

Latham has previously featured for Durham’s Academy & 2nd XI sides and will be available from Cook’s departure at the end of June until the end of the season.

“I am really looking forward to another stint in county cricket in 2017,” Latham said.

“It is even more exciting to be returning to Durham, a club that I am familiar with having played for the academy back in 2010.

“I can’t wait to get started with my new team mates and hope to be able to contribute positively both on and off the field.”

Durham head coach, Jon Lewis, said: “Tom is someone who we know well and we were very keen to renew the relationship.

“He has potential to build on his excellent record up to now and we are looking forward to welcoming him back to the club.”

Either side of spells in the North East Premier League with Gateshead Fell in 2010 and South Shields back in 2013, Latham has proved himself as a mainstay of the international side.

He has notched six Test match hundreds, including centuries in successive matches against Pakistan in 2014, and most recently struck a magnificent 177 to set up an unlikely victory over Bangladesh in Wellington.

Latham has also stepped up to replace Brendon McCullum as an opener in the ODI team after the stalwart retired from international cricket last year.

Aside from topping the run-scoring charts in the tour of India in October, he scored a second ODI ton against Bangladesh on Boxing Day in Christchurch.