Durham batsman Will Smith signs two-year extension

Will Smith
Smith ended the 2011 season with the Fielder of the Year prize and as second highest run scorer in the County Championship

Durham batsman Will Smith has signed a two-year contract extension.

The 29-year-old, who captained the county to title success in 2009, was Durham's second highest scorer in the Championship last season with 978 runs.

"I'm delighted to be staying with Durham for another two years," he said.

"I've enjoyed this season a lot, I've felt comfortable in the middle batting. What's just as important as scoring the runs is knowing I've played important innings that have helped us win games."

He added: "I'm looking forward significantly contributing to what I hope will be trophy winning campaigns."

The former Nottinghamshire right-hander was also recognised for his efforts this summer with the Fielder of the Year prize at Durham's 2011 Player of the Year awards.

It was an award that marked a turnaround in fortune for Smith, who was replaced as captain by Phil Mustard in 2010 and did not play a single minute of first-class cricket from mid-May until the end of that season.

"Will has shown real passion, commitment and determination to get back to the performance levels we know he is capable of," head coach Geoff Cook said.

"That has given him real confidence that I think will stand him in good stead for the seasons to come.

"He's made some extremely valuable contributions with the bat, and in the field, this year and I'm confident that there is even more to come."