As highlighted in my piece No Way Jose a few days back (see below), the Derby Telegraph today ran an article on John Morris confirming that he will wait until after the IPL auction on January 8 and 9 before pursuing his preference of overseas player.
He's absolutely correct to do so. A major source of vitriol on the boards in recent years has been players who have signed for Derbyshire then ended up unavailable because of a hastily arranged tournament of some description. There's also been a few injuries, but we lost a few good ones over the years, including Mohammad Yousuf, Mahela Jayawardene, Nathan Astle and Jacques Rudolph. I wonder if recent history might have been a little different had Rudolph come to Derbyshire? Yorkshire would certainly have missed those runs he subsequently scored in their thousands.
Most interesting in the Telegraph piece was the revelation that Greg Smith and Wes Durston are involved in the auction. I would be surprised if either were signed up, which isn't disrespectful of their ability but more an acknowledgement of the rich array of talent that these sides have to choose from. Of the two, Durston for me would stand the better chance, as he did quite well in India for Somerset last winter and people might remember his aggressive batting and brilliant fielding. We'll see what happens, but I would expect them to be available to John Morris from the start of the season, rather than missing the first two months as would otherwise be the case.
Morris also confirmed in the article that he doesn't have too much money to spend, again reinforcing my view of the type of player we'll be looking at. He has a number of irons in the fire and will just need to see which of these is interested, eligible and affordable. It may come down to Hobson's Choice, but there will be a few players overlooked and I would expect the Head of Cricket to move quickly once these commitments of potential players is known.
In other news, Luke Sutton expects to play an aggressive brand of cricket, which should surprise no one who has seen this excellent professional through his career. Sutton was my preference as skipper and I think John Morris has 100% done the right thing in his appointment. I look forward to seeing developments at the County Ground and think there will be a few people progress this year under his leadership.
Elsewhere, Tom Maynard has left Glamorgan as expected, after the club dispensed with the services of his father as coach, as well as James Dalrymple and Mark Cosgrove as full-time overseas player. I predict a season of struggle for the Welsh county and Alviro Petersen will have a big job on his hands to build team spirit ahead of a new season. I'd be surprised if Graham Wagg hasn't wondered what he's got himself into over the past few months...
That's it for now. Late night beckons tonight, so have a good one - see you next year!