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Jon Lewis: Durham coach unsure over Sir Ian Botham transfer idea

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Durham head coach Jon Lewis says compensation would “soften the blow” of players leaving a county but warns a transfer system could “bring problems”.Paul Coughlin’s move to Nottinghamshire for 2018 without recompense caused Durham chairman Sir Ian Botham to call for fees to be paid to sign players.”It does feel pretty harsh,” said Lewis about the exit of Coughlin, 24.

“However a transfer system could bring its own problems, perhaps it’s something of a double-edged sword.”Lewis told BBC Newcastle: “When you spend time and money developing players who then feel their interests are best served elsewhere, as they walk away you do feel financial compensation might soften the blow.””It won’t (a change to the system) make everything great because we want top players to play for Durham but, if they are going to go, some money might help.”

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All-rounder Coughlin had a clause in his contract that permitted him to move if Durham were in Division Two from next season.He follows spinner Scott Borthwick and batsman Mark Stoneman in leaving Durham since relegation at the end of the 2016 season following the England and Wales Cricket Board’s financial aid sanctions.Since their introduction to first-class cricket in 1992, Durham have brought through numerous talents who have played key roles for England, including Paul Collingwood, Steve Harmison, Graham Onions, Ben Stokes, and Mark Wood.Successes such as the 2008, 2009 and 2013 County Championships helped keep those players at the Riverside, but their demotion has put the futures of others such as Coughlin and recent England opener Keaton Jennings in doubt.”I don’t think Paul’s move has a lot to do with cash,” Lewis said. “I think it’s more about our position in Division Two and him feeling his ambitions are best fulfilled at a Division One club.”
Source: BBC Cumbria