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Durham's old boys scattered around the county circuit
WHILE Durham bask in the glory of three county titles in six seasons, they can also reflect that the number of their ex-players with other counties will reach double figures next season.
Sunderland all-rounder Ben Raine has been signed by Leicestershire, while Will Smith and Ruel Brathwaite have joined Hampshire and Mitch Claydon has signed for Kent.
Claydon will join former team-mates Mark Davies and Ben Harmison at Canterbury and the other four ex-Durham men plying their trade elsewhere are Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Kyle Coetzer (Northants), Will Gidman (Gloucestershire) and Mark Turner (Derbyshire).
After four years in the academy, Durham had high hopes of Raine, now 22, in 2011 when he made his first-class debut against Sri Lanka and also played in a one-day match at Edgbaston.
He was handed a development contract for 2012 but was released after a disappointing season and began his search for another county.
He played five championship games for Leicestershire and made a top score of 72 against Lancashire at Old Trafford before being offered a contract.
The gulf between divisions one and two has been emphasised chiefly by the amazing success of Gidman, who achieved the double of 1,000 runs and 50 wickets in his first season with Gloucestershire.
This year he claimed 55 first-class wickets and picked up the club's Bowler of the Year award, despite a nagging ankle injury, which restricted his involvement in one-day competitions and has required surgery to remove a bone spur.
Coetzer has also done well and will be back in division one next year following Northants' promotion. With the help of a double century he averaged 37.64 last season before missing the last six weeks with a wrist injury. He has now declared himself fit to lead Scotland in the World Twenty20 qualifiers in the UAU next month.
Davies, 33, was named Kent's Player of the Year in his first season at Canterbury but was less successful this summer after his initial one-year deal was extended by two years.
He was left out for six games and finished with 25 championship wickets at an average of 25. Apart from Claydon, he will also face competition next season from David Griffiths, who has been signed from Hampshire.
After a disappointing first season with Kent, Ben Harmison consolidated his place with 712 runs at 44.5. He fell out of favour at Durham because they saw him as an all-rounder but he lost confidence in his bowling. Kent's efforts to rehabilitate his medium pace appear to have met little success as in 37 overs he took one for 161.