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Scott Steel agrees Leicestershire deal after turning down Durham extension

Scott Steel has signed for Leicestershire on a three-year deal after turning down an extension at Durham.

Steel enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019 when he impressed opening the batting alongside D’Arcy Short in the T20 Blast, making 369 runs at a strike rate of 136.66 in the competition. He had a poor 2020, making only 40 runs in six Blast innings, but his decision to turn down a deal comes as a blow to Durham.

“It is extremely disappointing that Scott Steel has decided to move on from Durham,” said Marcus North, the club’s director of cricket. “Following our offer to extend Scott’s contract at Durham, we could not offer the guarantees he was ultimately looking for and this has resulted in him accepting a three-year contract with another county. We wish Scott all the best for his future career.”

After the disappointment of losing Tom Taylor to Northamptonshire, Leicestershire will be bolstered by Steel’s arrival. Paul Horton is expected to leave the club after being furloughed throughout the 2020 season, and Steel looks set to open the batting in both white-ball formats in his place.

“We’re delighted to have Scott join us at Leicestershire,” head coach Paul Nixon said. “Scott will add power to our current squad: he is a dangerous batsman who has match-winning credentials.”

Five more players will leave Durham at the end of the season at the expiration of their contracts: Josh Coughlin, Sol Bell, Ben Whitehead, James Weighell, and T20 captain Nathan Rimmington.

But the core of the first-team squad have all re-signed, with Chris Rushworth, Brydon Carse, Alex Lees and Matty Potts among 10 players to agree new contracts, while Scott Borthwick’s move from Surrey was confirmed this week.

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