PAUL Collingwood will hold talks with Derbyshire about joining them next season – but Durham remain “hopeful” the former England international will stay with his home county.
Derbyshire are struggling in Championship Division Two but have targeted Collingwood as a marquee signing, and will hope to lure the 35-year-old with a lucrative contract. They have tabled a 28-day notice period to speak the Shotley Bridge all-rounder, who is contracted to Durham next season. And Durham chief executive David Harker says they will not stand in his way.
“From our point of view Paul is a product of the Durham system. He’s very much one of our own and we don’t want him to leave,” he said.
“He has done fantastic things for club and country and we would ideally like to extend his contract at Durham, if possible.
“But with fairness to Paul, if he does come back to Durham next year, it has to be what he wants to do and not out of obligation to us. I would like Paul to go away, explore his options and come back to Durham. And the only way he can do that is if he goes to talk to Derbyshire, sees what is on the table and makes the right decision for him and his family.”
Since retiring from Test cricket after England’s successful defence of the Ashes, Collingwood has been a regular for Durham in both the county championship and T20 form of the game.