Nathan Rimmington has revealed that he was always confident he would return to the Durham first-team picture after enduring a frustrating start to the 2019 season.

The 36-year-old was left out of his side’s opening fixtures in the Specsavers County Championship before suffering a shoulder injury that ruled him out of action for the Royal London One-Cup campaign.

Rimmington earned a recall to the Championship side for Durham’s draw against Lancashire at Sedburgh and proved a point with both bat and ball, taking eight wickets and scoring a half-century.

The Australian continued his fine form in both second innings in his side’s win over Leicestershire. First Rimmington notched 92 after arriving at the crease as a nightwatchman before claiming three wickets at Grace Road.

“Towards the end of last year I found myself out of the Championship team, so I knew I had work to do in the off-season to get back into the side,” he said.

“My injury put me on the back foot from all that work I'd done over the winter. It was a frustrating period, but I never lost belief that I could come back and contribute at some stage. I've been lucky enough to get a few games now and have managed to contribute with both bat and ball.

“I always had the belief that if I got another go at some stage that I could hit the ground running. I called upon my experience from being in Australia, only playing white-ball cricket and being on the periphery of the four-day side.

“I've always had the desire to keep playing red-ball cricket. I've shown that I can come in and have a crack at it. Everyone that has come in has performed at some stage or another. At my age you've got to keep looking forward and putting in performances otherwise you'll find yourself out of the team.”

Rimmington has found his rhythm ahead of the Vitality Blast – a competition in which he thrived for Durham last season. The veteran led the county by taking 22 wickets at an average of 18.54 in 14 matches.

Durham’s campaign ended with a defeat to Sussex at Emirates Riverside in the quarter-finals.

Rimmington has admitted that the loss is still a sore spot for the team, but believes they are more than capable of making another charge to the knockout phase if they perform well on home soil.

“I know the quarter-final defeat to Sussex still hurts, but we can't really dwell on it too much this year is a new competition,” he said.

“Every team is going to have made improvements so the most important thing is to qualify from our group. It starts by playing well at home, which we did well last year. If we can play here well it will go a long way to helping us qualify.

“I wasn't surprised by my success, when you look at my T20 career it has been good. I've played a lot of matches and have gained a lot of experience, playing in the BBL and the IPL. I've always had the belief that I could do well in this country and hopefully I can keep that going this season.

“A month or so ago I would have been only concentrating on the white-ball game, leading into this little period. I probably haven't topped up my skills with the white ball as much. I'm lucky enough to have played a lot of white-ball cricket in the past so hopefully the change will come naturally to me in time for the Blast.”

Durham begin their Vitality Blast campaign against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Emirates Riverside on Friday.