Test Match Sofa
Ton-up Durston calls for more Unicorns' success stories
By Andy Wilson
The Unicorns’ biggest success story, Wes Durston, says he hopes his century against the part-timers this week will act as an inspiration for others not to give up on a career in county cricket.
Two years after the Clydesdale Bank 40 League hundred for Unicorns that helped resurrect his own career in the first-class game, the 31-year-old batsman hit an unbeaten 120 for Derbyshire against the Unicorns at Wormsley.
It was a special innings for Durston, who was resigned to a future in teaching after being released by Somerset at the end of the 2009 season until he was offered the chance to play for the side made up of players outside the professional game.
A match-winning 117 for Unicorns against Sussex in May 2010 put his name back in the thoughts of county coaches and, a few weeks later, he was given a second chance by Derbyshire.
Last season, Durston was Derbyshire’s player of the year and he said he will always owe a debt of gratitude to the Unicorns. “It’s not like if I played against Somerset in the future, that would be a different feeling for me,” he said.
“This was always going to be a happy day regardless because I was coming back to see friends and play against a team that did a huge favour for me, taking me on and giving me another chance, one that sprung me back into the game.
“I will always be thankful to Unicorns. I’ve got good close friends here and to get a hundred against them is a nice feeling for me and shows other people maybe what can be achieved through the Unicorns.”
The century crowned an important week for Durston, who was one of four to be awarded their county caps during the County Championship match against Gloucestershire, in which he also made his first half-century of the season.
“I’m delighted, especially in the week when I got my county cap,” he said. “To make a hundred in my next innings is fantastic. I got 95 at Headingley last year and just missed out but now I’ve got centuries in all forms of the game for Derbyshire and that’s what I wanted to achieve.
“This week’s been great. That 68 made me feel a lot more confident at the start of the week and I’ve backed it up with this. Other people had made runs before then and I hadn’t but I didn’t ever panic. I knew they would come sooner rather than later and I can look forward to Hampshire now in good spirits.”
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