'Booze-free' success inspires Durham's Chris Rushworth

Chris Rushworth
Rushworth picked up 86 wickets in total for Durham during the 2014 season

Durham pace bowler Chris Rushworth says his performances during the 2014 season without alcohol inspired him to maintain his abstention in 2015.

Rushworth, 28, stayed teetotal for the whole of 2014 to raise money for a children's charity.

He ended the season with 86 wickets in total, 65 of which made him the fourth highest first-class wicket-taker.

"The benefits I found throughout the season made a huge difference," Rushworth told BBC Newcastle.

"I'll try to stay off it as much as I can, maybe [have a drink] after a big win or a five for but no more."

Since returning to the Durham fold in 2010, Sunderland-born seamer Rushworth has become a crucial member of the bowling attack.

He racked up 55 wickets in 2013 season alongside Graham Onions as Durham won the title, and his 38 victims helped avoid the drop the previous year.

Paul Collingwood
Collingwood continues to be an influence for Durham at the age of 38

"I will set my targets for 50, if you have 50 wickets then you've had a good season," Rushworth added.

"If I can get more than that, happy days, but I don't mind as long as I'm contributing to Durham performing well."

Coach Jon Lewis's side picked up the One-Day Cup with victory against Warwickshire at Lord's last season, with Collingwood taking two wickets and striking 21 runs.

The 38-year-old all-rounder, who turns 39 in May, is reluctant to put a cap on his future with progress continuing to be made at Chester-le-Street.

"I'd better not say it'll be my final year, we'll wait and see," he said.

"I really enjoyed last year - playing well, took a few wickets and made runs, you enjoy it a lot more doing that.

"Hopefully we can have some more success here, We've had a great seven or eight years where we won silverware and hopefully we can continue that.

"If I keep enjoying it then why hang up the boots? Age is just a number - it's how you feel in your body."

The BBC will be offering ball-by-ball commentary of every game of the county season online via the BBC Sport website or BBC Sport app on desktop, mobile and tablet.

There will also be regular coverage of the county game on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

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