Thursday, 24 October 2013
Houghton departs as county economies begin
David Houghton has left Derbyshire for the second - and one assumes final - time as a result of the cost-cutting measures alluded to last week. At this stage it is difficult to see if this is going to see a simple restructure of the existing coaches, or if he will be replaced in a like-for-like move.
Houghton is a good and articulate man who is passionate about his cricket. The under-performing batting line-up last season probably didn't help his case for retention, but a coach can only do so much for any club or individual player. There will always be those who thrive and respond under their tutelage, while others will struggle to interpret things being shown and explained.
A classic case came with Wayne Madsen, who moved on a level last year and freely acknowledged the role played by Houghton in improving his mental attitude, as much as his technique. Other players were less successful and I had a feeling last week that the current overhaul might see a change or two in the coaching set up.
It is sad, but Derbyshire can ill-afford to be complacent. Whatever the potential of the talent coming through from the club academy, it is vital that the right coaches are in place to ensure that it is fully released. The time was right for such a revamp after a season in which we were, after all, relegated.
What happens next? We'll need to wait and see, but we currently have a second team coach in Steve Stubbings, a bowling coach in AJ Harris and Karl Krikken in charge of it all. I'd guess that the designations will change in the winter months, if nothing else.
Worth keeping an eye on, for all of us.