David Houghton's return to Derbyshire as batting coach is to be applauded on a couple of levels.
First of all, he comes with the highest of credentials for the role, having worked with various international sides and individuals with great success, most recently England. Without doubt he 'knows' batting and I once read Graeme Hick talking about how he strips down a player's technique and spots flaws better than anyone he had worked with. With Derbyshire having a number of young batsmen coming through it will be fascinating to see how Houghton is able to help the mto progress their games.
At the same time, this lays down a marker and is confirmation of the merits of the blueprint. The specialist coaching fund that Chris Grant identified has been put to excellent use with the introduction (re-introduction if you will) of one of the best in the game.
Cynics will, of course say that Houghton has been here before and did little in his time at Derbyshire. I didn't think that his time in charge of the side was one of the better periods in our recent history and have written so, but there is a world of difference between being a coach and being in charge of everything. One has only to look at the recent travails of Steve McClaren, an acclaimed coach, in the football world to see that. This job will suit Houghton's skills perfectly and I am delighted to see a throughly decent, talented and engaging man return to the County Ground in a role that will suit him perfectly.