Meaningless game to a great extent tomorrow, though professional pride and a need to build reputations should dictate a strong Derbyshire performance against Durham at the County Ground.
I don't expect many changes to the team from last night, though it is good to see Tony Palladino in the squad, who may get a run out ahead of next week's game. The news that both he and Jon Clare are returning to full fitness is welcome, as the successful triumvirate of Palladino, Groenewald and Clare from last season have rarely featured together this year.
It would, I think, be a gamble to play both Palladino and Clare against Middlesex unless we were very confident in their fitness. In a game of such importance we can scarce afford to lose a seamer early in the game.
There's been a few mails flying around with 'conspiracy theories' about Clare and his fitness/unfitness. It seems to me that we can't have a genuine injury round these parts without it being construed as having hidden meanings. The reality is that as a club with a small nucleus of experienced players we have endured too many injuries this summer. Chanderpaul and Durston miss out tomorrow to ensure they are fit for Middlesex and the squad has the look of a team selected from a Scout troop.
Still, it is an opportunity that some will take and others won't and, in the long term, that separates the cricketing wheat from the chaff.
Weather permitting, I'll be skippering my work side tomorrow in our debut match against a local club, so my blog will perforce be later. It promises to be interesting, with our side including five players with varying experience and six blokes who are very keen but have never played cricket before.
Still, from such acorns substantial trees grow. We'll be on tour next year...
See you tomorrow.