Michael Richardson has revealed that he was delighted to play the match-winning role for Durham in their Royal London One-Day Cup win over Derbyshire after an emotional time off the field.

Richardson was forced to withdraw from Durham’s matches on the road against Worcestershire and Warwickshire last week due to personal reasons, which forced him to return home.

Gareth Harte replaced the 32-year-old in the side and made a half-century in the club’s win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

However, Richardson was restored for the game against Derbyshire and played the pivotal role in guiding Durham over the line, producing an unbeaten innings of 72, including five sixes in their three-wicket triumph at Emirates Riverside.

“I was very pleased with my performance. I was almost quite emotional at the end there it has been quite a tough week,” he said.

“I was pleased that the coaches had faith in me to bring me back into the team when I said I was available. I thought they may stick with Hartey after he performed well and not knowing where I was emotionally, but it was great to get the win and it’s so nice to be really fighting in this competition.”

Richardson has been in prime form in the Royal London One-Day Cup this season, scoring 213 runs in three innings. He boasts an outstanding average of 59.18 in his 28 matches in List A cricket, besting his average in the first-class game by almost 30 runs.

The 32-year-old feels that his style suits the 50-over format and his belief in his game has grown as he continues to produce fine performances at the crease for his team.

“I’m very confident in this format,” he added. “I still try to play at a similar tempo no matter where I’m batting. I know that I want to give myself a few balls to get in no matter what. There’s always time in 50-over cricket to catch up and that’s what I did against Derbyshire. I know guys around me can play their game with power as long as I’m in the middle.

“I like that the situations are almost there to play into. You can dictate the tempo that you can bat at. I’ve learned my game and I’ve got a lot of confidence. I know when to take risks and when not to.

“I thrive on the fact that it feels like a real competition because it’s in such a block you can dig your teeth into it and try to get the trophy. It’s a fun competition to play in.”

Durham will look to continue their impressive run of results in the Royal London One-Day Cup against Lancashire at South Northumberland Cricket Club today.

The club have won on all four of their previous visits, including a Duckworth/Lewis triumph over Worcestershire last season, and Richardson has admitted that he is relishing the contest in Gosforth.

“It’s always a special atmosphere. It’s a very small ground so you’re quite enclosed. It’s building up to quite a nice finish in this competition,” he said.

A full list of fixtures for the Royal London One-Day Cup can be found at https://www.ecb.co.uk/matches/one-day-cup/fixtures

For Durham tickets, visit https://www.durhamcricket.co.uk/tickets/