MATTHEW POTTS is looking to establish himself as Durham’s go-to bowler in their LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two campaign after notching career-best figures against Leicestershire at the Riverside.

Potts claimed figures of six for 58 in Leicestershire’s first innings to bowl out the visitors for 273 after producing an inspired spell with the old ball. With opener Hassan Azad seemingly entrenched at the crease unbeaten on 66 from 205 deliveries, Potts bounded in with pace and bounce to dislodge Azad before orchestrating a collapse of the middle order.

He then returned with the new ball to clean up the Leicestershire innings, although frustratingly for the home side, they were unable to force a victory.

Despite the failure to secure their first win of the campaign, Potts’ development in the red-ball game is an exciting prospect for Durham in their bid to return to Division One.

The 23-year-old seamer initially burst onto the scene in 2017, but found life difficult to break into the four-day side until the back end of the 2021 campaign due to injury and competition for places.

Now Potts has established himself in the first team, he is looking to ensure that he is a permanent fixture in the ranks.

“I’m always one of the first in the dressing room to raise their hand and say look skipper I’m going to run in and get you that wicket,” said Potts, ahead of the four-day game against Nottinghamshire that starts at the Riverside tomorrow morning.

"All of the bowlers in our line-up are capable of that, and that is the beauty of our team. It just so happened that it fell on my shoulders and I was able to carry out the role to my full potential. It meant to be a three-over burst with the old ball, but when you’re having a good spell as a bowler you never want to come off.

“I believe that extra yard of pace has always been there, but I don’t think I had the fitness and capability to sustain that over a spell in the past. There are not many times that I would have been able to run in that hard, bowling with aggression and bumpers two years ago. I’ve worked very hard on my physical fitness. I’m glad I’ve been able to find that extra yard for the team."

With Durham’s outstanding reputation of producing England seamers, Potts has admitted that the thought of one day joining the ranks of Stephen Harmison, Graham Onions, Mark Wood and Brydon Carse has crossed his mind.

However, he knows there is a lot of hard work ahead of him to press into the thoughts of the selectors, even for the Lions’ squad.

“There’s an opportunity there for sure, and it is every boy’s dream to one day play for England in a Test match," he said. "One of the stepping stones to that would be to get myself involved in the England Lions. It would be daft to get too far ahead of myself. I’m just going to try and put in good performances for Durham and we’ll see where that gets me.”