Mustard and Benkenstein share reins
Durham will operate a split captaincy next year, with Phil Mustard continuing to lead the four-day side and Dale Benkenstein taking charge of limited-overs cricket.
Wicketkeeper Mustard stepped in as club captain in May - barely a month into the season - after Will Smith announced his shock resignation.
Next summer Mustard will captain the side in the LV= County Championship - a competition Durham won in 2008 and 2009 before their dip in form this year - while Benkenstein, who led the side to the first of those title wins, will take the reins for one-day and Twenty20 matches.
The club deemed that Mustard’s role as an opening batsman in limited-overs cricket, combined with wicketkeeping and captaining duties, would be too much.
“The Durham captaincy means a lot to me,” Mustard said. “I really enjoy leading the side and I want to do it for years to come.
“This set-up will give me the opportunity to learn from Dale and develop my skills in the limited-overs format, which can only benefit me, the team and the club in the long run.”
Benkenstein, 36, added: “I’m incredibly proud to be a part of Durham CCC and our achievements in the last few years.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to work alongside Phil to get us back where we belong, competing effectively in every format of the game.
“Phil did a great job in difficult circumstances last year and I’m pleased to be able to take some of the strain off him in the shorter formats of the game so he can focus on continuing his development as a player and captain.”
Director of Cricket Geoff Cook added: “Phil stepped up for us at a difficult time last season and did an outstanding job, especially in the LV= County Championship.
“During the one-day and t20 Phil had a huge responsibility on his shoulders - captaining, opening the batting and being behind the stumps - and it’s challenging to do each role effectively.
“To give Phil some respite Dale will take on the responsibilities for limited-overs cricket which will allow Phil to continue to learn and give the side a new emphasis. The team is determined to show an improved performance in one-day cricket.”
Durham finished second bottom of their Friends Provident t20 division this summer and failed to qualify from the group stages of the Clydesdale Bank 40. They rallied after a miserable start to finish fifth in the Championship, during which Mustard averaged almost 40 with the bat.