DURHAM are in danger of losing John Hastings for the final two matches in their battle to avoid relegation.
The big Australian, who has been in fine form recently, is wanted by Chennai Super Kings for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India, even though they played him only once in the Indian Premier League.
The Super Kings face Kolkata Knight Riders in the first group match at Hyderabad on September 17, two days after Durham start their crucial home match against Northamptonshire, the only side below them in division one of the LV County Championship.
The Champions League group stage, featuring ten teams, will continue until October 4, and the top two teams in the two groups will then contest the semi-finals.
Hastings missed Durham’s first six championship games while he was kicking his heels at the IPL, but has taken 28 wickets in six matches and has also impressed with the bat.
He hit six sixes in scoring 83 at Old Trafford last Friday and also had an eight-wicket match haul.
It would be a huge blow to Durham were he to miss the last two games as neither Mark Wood nor Graham Onions is likely to be fit and Jamie Harrison is to have a knee operation.
Wood bowled one over on his comeback in the second team last week but wasn’t comfortable and has been to see a specialist in London about his ankle problem. He was given an injection and advised to take time off.
All-rounder Usman Arshad, who has had a foot injury, will return to club cricket as a batsman this weekend and hopes to start bowling again soon.
Durham have registered Irish seamer Peter Chase for the rest of the season and have also been impressed by another Irish youngster, allrounder Barry McCarthy.
They will face Yorkshire at Headingley next week in a Royal London Cup quarterfinal and expect to be without Ben Stokes, although England have said they will release players from the oneday squad if they are not playing.