Durham CCC chairman Sir Ian Botham has expressed bitter disappointment at losing another rising star.
T20 Blast captain Paul Coughlin has rejected a contract extension and will leave the club at the end of the season. He has signed for Nottinghamshire.
Durham made a substantial offer to keep him in the North East, but the 24-year-old from Sunderland has decided to move on.
Coughlin has a side injury and won’t feature again for Durham this season.
Botham is unhappy with the situation, and issued a statement.
It reads: “Following Paul Coughlin’s decision to leave Durham County Cricket Club, I would like to express my frustration at a number of issues.
Despite offering Paul - a player we have nurtured through our academy system and someone we hold in extremely high regard – a very competitive contract extension, our devoted support during periods of injury, continuous development and leadership opportunities; the player has chosen to leave Durham.
“I respect Paul’s right to move clubs and understand that players at certain times in their careers may want to move on. However, it’s without question that our Second Division status, points penalties and difficult financial situation has created an opportunity for rival Counties and intermediaries to unsettle players with promises of First Division cricket, greater England opportunities and immediate financial reward.
“It concerns me that the current arrangements within cricket do not reward counties that invest in Academies and produce exciting young English players.
“The ECB is currently reviewing its partnership agreement with the Counties and Durham will be making strong representations to properly reward those that invest in the development of local talent. They need to introduce a transfer or similar system of compensation, to remove the potential for conflict of interest by preventing serving Directors of Cricket acting as selectors and to better regulate the behaviour of agents.
“In the meantime, Durham County Cricket Club will devote all of its available resources to putting together a squad of players that are committed to the Club and share our ambition to return to the first division and winning trophies.
“We are currently negotiating with a number of players, domestic and overseas with a view to returning to the top flight next season.”