Sir Ian Botham formally appointed Durham chairman
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 27/02/17 12:23pm
Former England captain Sir Ian Botham has been formally appointed as Durham's new chairman.
The 61-year-old, who enjoyed a short spell at Chester-le-Street at the end of his playing career, agreed to take over the role in November of last year but has only now been formally appointed as chairman by the struggling county.
Botham will attempt to guide Durham back to the County Championship Division One following their controversial relegation last season.
Durham are set to start the new season with a 48-point deduction after accepting a £3.8m financial aid package from the ECB.
Despite that set-back, Botham is determined to guide the county back to the top tier of county cricket.
"I'm delighted to have taken on the role of chairman in what looks to be a very exciting time for the club," Botham said in a statement on Monday.
"I finished my first-class career at Durham and have lived here for 30 years, I am very proud to be part of the North East, a region needs people playing cricket.
"The response has been magnificent and everyone has been very supportive.
"I can't wait for the season to start and for Durham to return to the top flight, where we belong."
Durham lost the right to stage Test cricket at the Emirates Riverside after accepting the financial aid package and were relegated to Division Two, with Hampshire reinstated at their expense.
The North East county will also face a four-point penalty in the 2017 T20 Blast and a two-point deduction in the One-Day Cup.