Sunday, 9 March 2014

Excellent first win but concerns over Burgoyne

As I think most of us expected, Derbyshire did what they had to and won their fifty-over game against Worcestershire by 126 runs today. That earlier batting display always looked like being way too much for our opponents and a steady bowling display ensued after Tim Groenewald and Mark Footitt made early inroads into their innings.

It was a good run out and the team can be proud of their efforts in a terrific first display.

The news was tempered somewhat, however, with that of Peter Burgoyne being given an extended leave of absence from the game while he receives treatment for a stress-related illness. It is bad luck for Burgoyne, who is a cricketer of immense talent and potential, but it is clearly indicative of the stresses involved in the first-class game, should further evidence be required after a number of high profile cases in the last few years.

There will be some, perhaps casual weekend cricketers or cricket followers only, who will struggle to understand how this happens when 'just playing cricket', but that misses the point by a considerable margin. This is a completely different thing, a struggle to establish yourself as a reliable performer and become sufficiently talented and competent to be able to do so as a career for the next twenty years.

The good thing is that Burgoyne's illness has been detected early and he has an excellent support network in place. He has a lovely family who will doubtless offer any help that is needed, while the club can be seen as a role model in its care of cricketers, both young and established.

He is a young lad and has plenty of time on his side. In the short and medium term, the most important thing is that he takes all the time that is needed to fully recover. If he is allowed to do that, I am sure that his immense talent will come to the fore in due course.

I look forward to that happening and wish him and his family well.

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