Batter Alex Lees pinning England recall hopes on new Durham contract

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Lees, who has been dropped from the Test team for the forthcoming tour of Pakistan, has agreed to remain at the Seat Unique Riverside until the end of the 2025 season. The 29-year-old headed to the north east after leaving his home county Yorkshire in 2018 and flourished enough to earn a first call-up to the international arena. He played 10 consecutive Tests but an average of 23.84 and a top score of 67 meant the selectors looked elsewhere this winter - a decision he hopes to reverse through some strong performances for Durham. Zak Crawley is currently the incumbent at the top of the order, despite some patchy form of his own, with the likes of Keaton Jennings and Ben Duckett also travelling for the three-match series in Pakistan. "I am delighted to re-sign for the club, and I am looking forward to pursuing some silverware and regaining my place in the Test team," he said. "Durham afforded me an opportunity to play regular first-team cricket again and I'm glad I can show some gratitude by extending my terms." The club's director of cricket, Marcus North, said: "To have Alex commit his future to Durham is brilliant news for the club. His performances on the field and contributions behind the scenes have been outstanding. "We look forward to Alex continuing to be central to our success over the next few years and beyond."

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