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Cricket: Blackwell looking to revive career; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: Luke Edwards

IAN Blackwell believes his talent will be more appreciated at Durham than it was at Somerset after revealing he felt let down by the lack of support he received at his former county.

Blackwell is Durham's only new signing for the summer but the all-rounder - a powerful middle order batsman and useful left-arm spinner - will certainly add an extra dimension to the title holders.

Rumours are rife on the county circuit that Blackwell left Taunton after nine years following a falling out with Australian captain Justin Langer. The 30-year-old is careful not to directly criticise his former skipper, but there is a clear undercurrent of discontent behind his move to the North East. He said: "I was midway through a four-year contract and wasn't playing in all forms of the game.

"Justin Langer and the people down there didn't think I was suitable to play in all forms of the game, which disappointed me to an extent because I've prided myself on my one-day cricket and the contributions I had made.

"I wouldn't say it went sour for me down at Somerset. I have a very good relationship with everyone down there, but Justin Langer has his own ideas about how he wants to run the club.

"He didn't see me being a part of that and he was very honest about it. I felt I justified a spot in each team, it wasn't long ago that I was captain of the club and I was upset at not being selected in the short form of the game.

"I wasn't quite convinced for the reasons that were given for me not being selected, and that was one of the main reasons why I decided to leave.

"I also wanted to test myself and push myself forward for England again. I was very fortunate because I had a couple of very good clubs looking to sign me, which was great as it rebuilt my confidence and self-belief."

Despite scoring more than 1,000 runs in the County Championship last season, Blackwell, who has played in one Test and 34 one day internationals, has been ignored by England since playing against India in April 2006.

It is an international career he is looking to revive at the Riverside after he accused Somerset of not doing enough to push his claim for an England place.

He added: "It wasn't an ideal time for me to move. I've got twins who are five weeks old. It was a tricky decision and the hardest one I've had to make in my career. But it's a new challenge and fresh start for me, which I'm very much looking forward to.

"I'm very excited about this move, to come to the county champions, and a club which is going forward, is a wonderful opportunity. I want to play in all forms of the game and hopefully get back playing for England."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 26, 2009
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