I've had some terrific e mails and comments in recent days and thanks very much to all of you for continuing to get in touch. My apologies to those to who I have not yet had a chance to respond, but I assure you I will do so over the next couple of days.
First up tonight, Mark asked if I thought that Wayne Madsen could be lured from Derbyshire by a county with money to spend and the ambition to sign one of the top batsmen in the country. Is the latter a bold statement? Not on this year's form...
You can never say never, Mark, but I'd be surprised, certainly at this stage. He signed a new three-year contract on October 17 of last year and, as an honourable man, I would certainly expect him to see that through. I spoke to him at some length in September of last year and I know how much he enjoys the area, the club and the playing environment. Derbyshire gave him an opportunity in the first-class game and he has repaid that with consistent performances.
Last year he was player of the year and he's a racing certainty to take it again. It shows how much he is valued and appreciated and I'm sure that his contract at the club recognises that. His delightful wife, Kyla, has a thriving business locally and they enjoy their lifestyle. Wayne could probably go elsewhere for a more lucrative deal, but would be unlikely to have the captaincy offered as part of that.
Will he spend the rest of his career with Derbyshire? You can't say that of any player, as they're as entitled to get the best deal for themselves as any of us. I hope he stays for a good while though, as he is one of the best we have ever had. Enjoy watching a class act, however long it lasts and hope, like me, it is for a long time.
Then there's Paul's comments about the merits and pulling power of Derby v Chesterfield, which you can see below the previous post. They are spot on and while the merits of Queens Park are evident, especially in the weather that blessed this summer, its drawbacks are fairly pointed out. It would be interesting to get the demographic of the Chesterfield crowds and their Derbyshire/Yorkshire split, but the reality is that Derbyshire have spent and will be spending a lot of money in developing the County Ground. There is no point in doing that if they're intending to put more matches to outgrounds, as it makes no economic sense.
I've seen many a match at Buxton and enjoyed the large crowds for tussles with Lancashire, but aside from the condition of the wicket, the outfield, the seating and the changing accommodation, there's so much more to think of these days. There's the traffic infrastructure, the parking facilities, the availability of places for food preparation and serving, amenities and facilities for fans....I could go on, but to sort these things costs money.
A lot was ploughed into the upgrade of Queens Park, but moving boundary boards and assorted equipment up to Buxton would cost money over and above the upgrade and it just wouldn't be worth it. Would Derbyshire v Lancashire there attract a bigger crowd than at Derby? Possibly, but Buxton would be unlikely to hold that much more, again with modern safety regulations needing observed, which makes the argument somewhat redundant.
Whether we like it or not, cricket is more professional today. Look at the link on the left of this blog at the Buxton CC site and their excellent collection of old photographs. I loved the charm of the old ground, the tarpaulin sightscreens, the sporting wicket, even the vagaries of the climate in the High Peak.
But I don't see it coming back sometime soon. That's a shame in many ways, but perfectly understandable.
As for other questions - I genuinely don't know if we will stay up, but I'm glad that our destiny is back in our own hands and we can stand or fall on our efforts in coming weeks. I also think we should stick with the young players and afford them the opportunities given to others, earlier in the season, but would also welcome back Tony Palladino if he is fit for the next home championship match.
As for what I think we need for next season - as asked by Dan - I'll hold fire on that until I see how these young guns fire between now and the end of the season!
Finally, it was so typical that, in the aftermath of yesterday's success, someone on the Forum chose to have a dig about the photos from Madame Tussauds that my daughter asked me to post last night. I told her I'd show them for 24 hours - which I did - but was then deemed to have shown 'irrelevant' pictures, the poster completely ignoring the fact that it was a different piece.
Why not just enjoy the win? The team did well, so you look for something else to moan about. Time to grow up matey...or just ignore it, if it bothers you that much.
Postscript - I'll be on Radio Derby tomorrow morning around 7.20am. I have been asked to comment on England's Ashes win from a Derbyshire perspective.
I'm as delighted as most other Englishmen tonight, but I'd swap it for Derbyshire staying up this summer in a heartbeat...