Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Wave and Lawson go

So Wavell Hinds and Mark Lawson are the latest to leave Derbyshire Cricket Club as John Morris reshapes his squad. They join Steve Stubbings, Dominic Telo, Dan Birch and Nantie Hayward out of the door, which presumably creates space for better players.

Head of cricket John Morris said: "Wavell has added some international class to our batting line-up as well as plenty of valuable experience in the dressing room for the past two years.
However, with our young batsmen coming through and the Kolpak penalties to be taken into account, we have decided to look at different options for 2010".

That, of course, doesn't necessarily mean we won't be going down the Kolpak route, but possibly pursuing a better option than Wavell. I've always been loathe to criticise him, partly because I'm a Derbyshire fan and therefore support the players and partly because Morris has gone on record as valuing his off field contribution.

There comes a time, of course, when one outweighs t'other and there are regular 606 contributors who have (rightly) expressed concern and disappointment of a record that was in the mid-30's , perhaps ten runs shy of what you'd hope for from an expensive import. I would reckon that John Sadler or Dan Redfern could make those runs and average, even if we don't sign someone else, which is unlikely. That's four batsmen gone now and we only have Paul Borrington with genuine first team aspirations outside of the two named above and what may become the fantasy quartet (no, not that sort of fantasy!) of Rogers, Madsen, Park and Smith.

Earlier today I mentioned Wes Durston and some of you may remember his highest score for Somerset, an innings of 146 at Derby a year or two back. There are players like Durston, or Shafayat or Jefferson who may be worth pursuing and I'd be surprised if John Morris doesn't have one or two things lined up in the near future.

As for Wavell, he'll be remembered as a gentle, languid player who could thrill and infuriate in equal measure. When he got going he could hit a ball like most of Caribbean descent, but at times he seemed to take a long time to get into his stride. I think we under utilised his seam bowling at times, but maybe there were injury niggles, or maybe he just didn't fancy it.

As for Mark Lawson, there is no real surprise. Having burst onto the Yorkshire scene ahead of Adil Rashid, the latter's batting saw him leap ahead and Lawson's move to Derbyshire was perhaps a last chance saloon. It's a shame, as good English leg-spinners are an endangered species, but after bowling steadily in the early season, Lawson rarely threatened to run through sides, even on the more leg spin friendly tracks of August and September.

With Jake Needham going back this year, a decent spinner for 2010 is a must. DCCC Forever mailed to suggest Nikita Miller, currently bowling good slow left arm for the West Indies but likely to drop out again when their financial dispute ends in favour of Suleiman Benn. With over a hundred wickets at around 19 each, Miller has an excellent record, but I'd be concerned about the standard of the opposition he's faced. You don't know until you try, of course, but I'd be loathe to suggest he could be the 40-50 wicket spinner that we so badly need.

Don't know about you, but I'll be a keeping a close eye on developments at the County Ground.


Martin Edwards said...

Steve, now is as good a time as any to say how much I've enjoyed your informative and fair-minded blog posts this season. Thanks for all your hard work on the blog - it's much appreciated.

Peakfan said...

Thanks Martin, that's very kind of you! Its a hobby that keeps me off the streets and out of the pub...
Best wishes - when's the next book due?

Martin Edwards said...

The next one is The Serpent Pool, another Lake District Mystery due out early next year. As before, numerous characters are named after Derbyshire cricketers past and present....