Hey...we can now say "I wonder how Derbyshire will do THIS year"...
I hope your festivities went well. We were up until just after 3, which explains why our house is very quiet this morning. I caught the end of the Big Bash game from Australia, but nothing was going to get me up for 8am after our bedtime...
Two things that irk me with the Fox coverage were more evident today. Whoever thought it a good idea to have an admittedly attractive blonde stick a microphone under a batsman's face when they've just been dismissed should be made to face Brett Lee without a box from ten yards. It is a stupid idea and when a batsman is as obviously annoyed, as Travis Birt was today, it is a recipe for disaster. What do they expect these guys to say? "Yeah, I'm pleased to be out. I can sit down and relax now"?
On the field, it would also be nice if bowlers don't, almost universally, shout "catch it" as soon as the ball leaves the bat. For one it looks stupid when the ball speeds past the fielder for four, while for two it is ridiculous when the ball is caught be a bloke in the upper tier of the stand. As a bowler, you know when a batsman has mistimed it and you should know where your fielders are. Watching a seamer shout "catch it" when Chris Gayle middled one into row Z was ludicrous in the extreme. If it is meant to put the batsman off, it is an unlikely tactic. I hope we don't see such nonsense from our lads this summer.
Back in Derbyshire, it is good to see our new recruit David Wainwright heading with the Potential England Performance Programme (PEPP) to the warmer climes of Sri Lanka. It is ironic that Wainwright is considered good enough for the England setup, yet not for Yorkshire, something that suggests that their loss is most definitely our gain. I would like to see the player batting at seven this summer, where I think he would have the chance to build an innings and contribute good runs. Five hundred in the Championship should be on for him, while his bowling, given opportunity, could easily rack up 40-50 wickets. I've every confidence in the lad and look forward to seeing him in the county colours.
Finally today, there's a good article on the club site about Tim Groenewald, a player who has grown in his time at the club as we hope that Wainwright will. He appears very confident in the ability of the young squad and I think we should be too. Having watched most of the Aussie sides, I've not seen many players, outwith the big names, that I would swap for the lads at Derbyshire and I think we can be proud and confident in their ability approaching the 2012 season. Whether this again is too early for talk of promotion only time will tell, but a good start, decent luck with injuries and contributions from everyone in a team effort can go a long way.
With the right recruitment for the remaining overseas roles, there's a few bookies out there might regret some of the early odds on Derbyshire success for this year.
That's a positive thought to finish on. Happy New Year!