The news in this morning’s Derby Evening Telegraph that the ECB are set to announce a rethink on the qualification rules regarding overseas players is extremely welcome at Derbyshire.
Apparently the English Cricket Board is set to announce that for 2010 only, overseas players granted work permits for the last four seasons will get another. On that basis, assuming that Rogers and John Morris can sort out a deal, we can expect to see the Australian opener back in our colours for next season.
I cannot think that many Derbyshire fans will be unhappy at this news. While many feel we need a strike bowler or a quality spinner, the reality is that there are very few of the latter in the world game and even fewer of the former who wish to add to their workload and commit to a long and tiring English season on top of their international commitments.
If Rogers is able to sign on the dotted line before his departure for another season for Victoria at home, it will be one less thing for John Morris to worry about and will ensure that next season we will have as good an opening pair as there is in the country, with Wayne Madsen available full time.
Batsmen prepared to commit to the county game who are good enough to average over 60 are also in short supply and we are very lucky to have as able and committed a cricketer as Chris Rogers as Derbyshire skipper. Regular readers of the blog will know that I was frustrated in the early season when the skipper seemed to get out at 50 on a regular basis, especially in one day games, but you cannot argue with the facts and the statistics emphasise that Rogers is one of the leading batsmen in the County game.
In the same piece is the news that Nantie Hayward has flown home to South Africa, ending his stint with the club. It didn’t work out for the ex-South African Test bowler at Derby as he struggled to find rhythm. As John Morris said in the article, you could not fault his effort, but he’d had little preparation and it just wasn’t there for him. As I’ve said before, however, you cannot blame John Morris as he acted quickly to bring in a bowler of Test experience. If it had come off we’d all be shouting from the rooftops. It was a gamble and they don’t always come off. Anyone replacing Charl Langeveldt was going to have their work cut out but Hayward will go down as one of our least successful overseas imports.
Speaking of overseas players, even if we secure the services of Chris Rogers for 2010, there’s still plenty of opportunity for conjecture as we will be able to sign a second player for the Twenty/20 cricket next year. Each county is allowed two, but at this stage the regulations for that second player are not clear. If they have to satisfy the new requirements it will be a very difficult task and we can perhaps expect a number of recently retired from international cricket players for one last hurrah. If the regulations are relaxed, then there are obviously more possibilities out there.
It would be no great surprise, in the latter scenario, for John Morris to use Chris Rogers’ contacts in Australia to bring over a young player, maybe one who bats and bowls, for the role. I would be surprised if our budget stretched to an Afridi or Symonds, names no doubt on the lips of many fans.
This morning came news that Somerset have approached Cameron White and Graeme Smith to be their second overseas player for the Twenty/20 next season, while at the same time announcing that current Middlesex spinner Murali Kartik will be their full time overseas professional in 2010. It is a shrewd signing and he is a good bowler. He’d also better get ready for long spells at Taunton…
More realistic for us might be someone like young New South Wales all rounder Moises Henriques, who can hit the ball hard and bowl at a quite lively pace. Good enough to have been signed by the Kolkata Knight Riders last winter in the IPL, Henriques also fields brilliantly and would be an exciting signing, as well as being young enough to want to build a reputation.
A great thing, conjecture!
Elsewhere, it is interesting to read in various places that Nottinghamshire are resigned to losing Bilal Shafayat at the end of the season as the talented all rounder’s contract is up. I’d definitely sign him if we had the chance. I don’t think we could afford Kabir Ali and I’m not sure that Will Jefferson would add more to the mix than we already have, but Shafayat is a good cricketer, better than his figures at Trent Bridge have suggested. He is a stylish batsman and a more than useful fast medium bowler and at 25 is nowhere near his prime. A batting and bowling average of around 30 suggests someone with a fair amount to offer and Shafayat would be a fine addition to the squad for 2010. He’s not quite made the impact that he suggested when he starred with England development sides, but is a sound player. Having said that, there’ll be plenty of sides after him and much will depend on whether he is looking for a convenient move or an especially lucrative one.
Finally, another piece in the Derby Telegraph today highlights our prudent work off the pitch and gives more detail on the plans for the winter months at the County Ground. Astonishing is the news that Kent look like they could lose half a million this year, which hardly suggests shrewd financial management.
As for Derbyshire, the club is in good hands off the pitch and we’re making continual strides on it. Happy days…