Chris Rushworth: Durham seamer positive after winter of discontent

Chris Rushworth
Chris Rushworth was the leading wicket taker in the 2015 County Championship with 83 scalps
Specsavers County Championship
Opening round: Friday, 7 April - Monday, 11 April Final round: Monday, 25 September - Friday, 28 September
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Durham seam bowler Chris Rushworth can finally see the positives after being refused entry to play in Australia last winter because of visa issues.

The 30-year-old was heading out to Melbourne for a player-coaching role with Brighton Cricket Club, who he had played for the previous year.

However, changes to the visa laws meant he would have to miss out for 2016.

"Someone of my age with a family, there is only one type of visa you can get," Rushworth told BBC Newcastle.

"I had the wrong visa. And unfortunately the new visa doesn't allow you to play cricket.

"The Professional Cricketers Association are trying to find a way around this because pro-cricketers want to play cricket overseas and if you can't do that it's no good for anyone.

"I spent the winter at home. Obviously it was devastating at the time but I think it's worked out well as I spent the winter working hard in the gym."

Rushworth's winter of discontent came on the back of Durham's own tale of woe, having been dished out heavy sanctions by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The county accepted an aid package from the ECB to service debts and agreed a deal with Durham County Council to convert debts into shares.

It came at a price as the team were relegated to Division Two, handed points deductions across the formats and had the Riverside ground's Test status removed.

On the flipside, the county's finances are in a better state, Sir Ian Botham has come in as chairman with optimism and enthusiasm, and on the field there has even been the acquisition of overseas imports.

South African Test player Stephen Cook and New Zealand opener Tom Latham will play half a season apiece for Jon Lewis' side.

"We've been in situations in the past as a team where we've been on the back foot and circumstances have gone against us," Rushworth continued.

"But we've always come out strong so hopefully this year is no different.

"We've got a smaller squad this year but the lads are hungry and they want to prove we can do it."

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