Sunday, 8 June 2014

Groenewald to leave and youth to get opportunity

Today's breaking news that Tim Groenewald is set to leave the county is sad, but will, I think, be seen as the day when the Welch revolution started moving through the gears at the County Ground.

I like Groenewald as a cricketer and he has been an excellent servant to Derbyshire. Then again, the club has been good to him and had it not been for the opportunities offered with the new ball when he left Warwickshire, his career could have taken a completely different route.

One thing is for sure, we will miss a player who has always given one hundred per cent and who has proved the most robust of seamers. Look back over his time at the club and there are few periods where he missed matches. Whether one-day or four-day cricket, Timmy G has run in to bowl and done so consistently.

He has not been quite so effective in the T20 this year and with a current rate of ten runs an over against him is not enjoying the best of campaigns, but he will be remembered as a very good seam bowler and an excellent club man. He is also a thoroughly nice guy and I am sure that Derbyshire fans will wish him well, wherever he ends up.

That Derbyshire waived their right to the player serving 28 days notice before speaking to other counties can be construed as a goodwill gesture, but also as a vote of confidence in the crop of young bowlers coming through. I fully expect to see change and experiment in the course of this summer and next, as opportunity knocks for the young brigade of seam bowlers. Tom Taylor is the first of these to gain elevation and replaced Groenewald in the side at Leicester today. The lad is a genuine talent and needs opportunity to move up a level. So too do the likes of the giant Ben Cotton, the whole-hearted Matt Higginbottom and the all-round talent of Greg Cork, even before you consider the likes of Jony Marsden and Will Davis.

Five years from now, maybe even three, Derbyshire may well field a first-choice attack that is primarily home-grown. There will also be more opportunities on the batting front, where again there are players emerging through the Academy who could force their way into the side in time.

Derbyshire will have made Tim Groenewald a decent contract offer but presumably could not compete, or chose not to compete, with what is on offer elsewhere. In all such dealings one has to consider the importance of the player and the cover available for them should they decide to leave.

In this instance, Graeme Welch has decided that he has the cover and that the money could be more beneficially used for strengthening elsewhere.

That's what he is paid for. Let the revolution commence... 


Mark said...

Oh well one of our better players deserting the sinking ship. We won't replace him, just promote from the academy. Cheap option coming up again.

Anonymous said...

an odd interpretation of events imo. Rather Groenewald sees no progression in the side and decides to leave , having given 100% for Derbyshire in every game and little reward. A very dispiriting piece of news and the revolution you talk about is purely fictional.

Anonymous said...

Its all right having a revolution but we could be regular battlers for the wooden spoon with Leicestershire, for many years to come.


Peakfan said...

Please use a name Anon..
I don't blame him for going if there's better deals on the table. I don't blame us for not matching that deal. All players have a value and we have a more limited budget. We're losing a good player, but no Les Jackson.

Jeff said...


I find this situation quite sad and the timing really unfortunate.

It must be remembered that Tim nearly left us 3 years ago but the club came up with the goods and he opted to stay. Therefore I'm not sure what the club could have done to retain one of its best players on a further 2-3 year contract, especially as the club have a wage structure to follow and need to be aware of other players whose contracts expire at the end of this season.

The thing is that this now highlights the lack of management and foresight from those who ran the club 10-15 years ago. As they maintained the club being run on the old lines of the committee structure etc., other counties saw the increase freedom of movement of players and showed some ambition to make sure they weren't left behind (If only Don Amott or Chris Grant had been available in the late 90's, I don't think Derbyshire would have been in the position that we are now).

We are now trying to catch up, hence the relatively small playing budget and the desperate need to bring income in through off-field activities. I think I said in September 2013 that our problems now stem from the fact that we didn't do enough to attract a big sponsor after Ward's left. To go from Bass's to Ward's via Birch plc and then have smaller sponsorships while other counties managed to maintain or improve theirs. The investment we now have in the club through 3AAA etc is obviously extremely welcome but was required at the turn of the century.

However, what is done is done and we cannot change it.

Anyhow I found this, I thought it might be of interest: