Sorry about the absence of blogs since last weekend. Its not been through choice, but our internet has been down again and even now is moving with the alacrity of a one legged man on a concrete pogo stick.
As I write Derbyshire will be enjoying the rays in the Caribbean, at the start of a pre-season tour with several matches and that all-important outdoor practice. I have no doubts that this venture will get us off to a positive start, while affording new players a chance to get to know their team mates.
Meanwhile the club have backed retaining the current 16 match structure of the Championship, a view echoed by many others around the country. The logic of the alternative, where you play some teams twice and others once escapes me and the county game is, after all, the one that prepares players for the rigours of Test cricket. Administrators can't say that the Championship is preparing a top Test side for England then prune the only competition that gives them worthwhile practice.
Reducing the T20 and Pro 40 is definitely the way to go and I'm pleased to see the club's vote come down this way. Of course, it is ironic that it is the worst supported of the three forms, but what do you expect when most fixtures are played in midweek? If they tried something innovative, like having days three and four on a Saturday and Sunday more often, it might just give fresh impetus to the long format.
Reducing the T20 in particular is sure to be welcomed by players. While they enjoy the bigger crowds, few bowlers will enjoy having to put tired bodies through the mixer, diving to stop the ball, risking pulled and torn muscles along the way.
Nothing will increase crowds more than a winning Derbyshire side of course and I still think that the Championship is our best chance of success this season. I think we have bowlers who will take wickets, though I am less convinced at this stage of their ability to bowl tight. 4-60 in 10 overs in the Championship could be a match-winning performance, but could be less convincing in the shorter forms (especially from a four-over spell!)
Anyway, with the week dominated by Surrey's loss of £500K and Glamorgan announcing a deficit of £366K, all of a sudden we appear to be the Rockefellers of the county game...