Durham Jets start their NatWest T20 Blast campaign with an attractive home clash against Lancashire Lighting at the Emirates Riverside tonight (6.30pm start).
And they must cope with the massive threat posed by England T20 star Jos Buttler, who has been named in Lancashire’s 14-man squad to travel.
Coach Glen Chapple’s side will be skippered by Steven Croft and features big-hitting Buttler and highly-rated batsman Liam Livingstone, who recently made his England one-day international debut.
New Durham T20 skipper Paul Coughlin will relish having the experience of Championship captain, and T20 World Cup winner, Paul Collingwood alongside him for the big opening match.
“It’s great to have Colly still around as well,” said Coughlin. “He can push me in the right direction with any help or advice I need.”
Durham are yet to name their squad, but fit-again Usman Arshad staked his claim with bat and ball as the Second XI defeated Yorkshire by seven wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis Method at Marske yesterday.
Arshad grabbed 3-54 then hit a match-winning 70 runs, supported by 41 from Gareth Harte, to push his hopes
Sponsors Emirates have a special prize up for grabs tonight.
The airline are offering two return economy class flights and a three-night stay in a four or five-star hotel for one lucky fan.
The first person in the crowd to catch a six wearing an Emirates cap – which will be given out at the gate – will jet off to enjoy a three-night stay in the Middle East courtesy of the airline, with return flights from Manchester.
Durham also have family activities galore at the ground, including a batting simulator and a speedometer to record youngsters’ bowling pace.
Durham still have T20 season tickets available, priced £70 for all seven home games, while and adult and child season ticket is £85, available from the box office on 0844 499 4466.
Lancashire Lightning squad: Steven Croft (C), Tom Bailey, Jos Buttler (W), Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Kyle Jarvis, Rob Jones, Arron Lilley, Liam Livingstone, Ryan McLaren, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Stephen Parry, Dane Vilas