This is the second in an occasional series on players who have represented both Yorkshire and at least one other county but not including overseas players. Paul Dyson looks at the eight cricketers who played for the White Rose county as well as Durham but only since the latter gained first-class status. They occur in chronological order and the focus is on each player’s career with Durham, their time with Yorkshire being detailed in various publications.
Phil Berry’s birthplace of Saltburn was not far from the original Durham border so when he was released by Yorkshire it made sense for him to try his luck with the northern neighbours. His spell with Durham coincided with the county’s first three years (1992-94) on the first-class circuit and he played in nine games in its first season taking 17 wickets with his off-spinners. Never having previously taken more than two wickets in an innings, he took seven for 113 against Middlesex at Lord’s, a further three second-innings wickets giving him match-figures of ten for 191. However, with John Emburey and Phil Tufnell taking 17 wickets between them the pitch was obviously prepared for spin bowling and the performance remained the highlight of Berry’s career. In a total of 19 first-class matches for his second county he scored 440 runs and took 32 wickets. Not used much in List A cricket he took only three wickets in six games.
Durham was Michael Foster’s third county after spells with Yorkshire and Northamptonshire. A middle-order batsman, with some powerful strokes, and a useful fast-medium bowler, he spent four seasons with Durham from 1996. His best campaign was in his second year when, in 14 first-class matches, he scored 575 runs and took 30 wickets. His run-tally included the only century of his career – 129 against Glamorgan at Cardiff. Overall, he scored 963 runs in 25 matches with 55 wickets. Probably more suited to limited-overs cricket, he scored 749 runs in 39 matches, unusually at a higher average than in first-class cricket, and took 33 wickets. Although aged only 27 when he left Durham, it was the end of his cricketing career.
A very hostile fast bowler when at his peak, Steve Harmison was Durham through and through; he played for his native county from 1996 to 2012, going out on loan to Yorkshire in his final season. He took over 60 wickets in a season on three occasions – once prior to his England career and twice afterwards – his best being 65 in 2008. His best bowling for Durham came late in his career when he took seven for 29 against Warwickshire at Chester-le-Street. In 129 matches he took 458 wickets. Less used in white-ball cricket (he played none after 2010) his figures were 103 wickets in 80 List A games and 27 in 24 T20 matches.
Although Middlesbrough had ‘moved’ from the North Riding into the new authority of Cleveland in 1974 it was vey much still regarded as being part of Yorkshire as far as cricket was concerned. The town was the birthplace of Liam Plunkett and tradition persuaded him towards Headingley even though Durham’s headquarters were nearer. However YCCC, around the turn of the century, were awash with pace bowlers and so it was that he made his debut for Durham in 2003. In his first full season of 2005 he took 51 first-class wickets and 19 in List A cricket with his hostile and rapid pace and this was enough for him to be taken to India and Pakistan in the succeeding winter when he made both his Test and ODI debuts at the age of 20. He lost his place after the 2007 season but had his best first-class season in 2010 when he took 60 wickets and was briefly restored to the ODI team. After that, however, he gradually lost form and in 2012 played in only one first-class match. Having chosen to join Yorkshire for the 2013 season his career with Durham ended with him having taken 263 wickets in 84 first-class matches, his best performance being six for 63 against Worcestershire at Chester-le-Street in 2009, as well as having scored over 2,000 runs. He took 84 wickets in 79 List A games and 43 in 61 T20 matches. Fortunately, on joining Yorkshire he took on a new lease of life, regained his place in all three England teams and never looked back.