It was the weekend that kept on giving...
We signed Cheteshwar Pujara, Derby County won, then we signed Wayne White and now I managed to get the day off tomorrow to see the quarter final against Nottinghamshire. Be still my beating heart!
If this is the standard of winter recruitment, it promises to be a fascinating one. That both signings have potential for something long term, according to Mark Eklid in the DET today, is massively encouraging. Both Pujara and White have points to prove and reputations to rebuild, both positive indicators when signing players.
Pujara has already shown his unquestioned ability on the sub continent, but struggled, with almost all of his team mates, to come to terms with English seam bowling at Test level. Then again, he won't be facing Broad and Anderson every week on the county circuit and three matches for us would help him maximise his undoubted potential.
As for Wayne White, he would be a terrific asset. I have advocated a move for him, not just since this time last season, but since he was first touted to leave Leicestershire. He may have done well financially from the move to Old Trafford, but career-wise it has been a disaster. He is too good a player to be in second team cricket and now has a gilt-edged opportunity to prove his worth in an environment that will appreciate what he has to offer.
I don't see him as a threat to the role of Alex Hughes in the side, to respond to one question from today, as they complement each other. Alex is at present a batsman who can bowl useful overs, whereas Wayne's bowling is perhaps the stronger of two very good suits. I'd reckon they would be excellent at six and seven in the order.
I think White will be the third seamer for the remaining games, to answer another question, and adds depth to the batting. I would love to have seen him in tomorrow's team, but I don't expect changes from last week's win against Gloucestershire.
Why should there be? It was a fine team performance and a repeat tomorrow might just see us spring a surprise. Nottinghamshire are missing both Alex Hales and Harry Gurney, key performers for them this year. They have plenty of other good players, but the bottom line is that we do too. If we can make early inroads into a long batting line up, then bowl and bat steadily, you never can tell.
One thing that is for sure is that our lads will be up for the game. I hope to see a performance tomorrow and if we compete and challenge, as we showed at Trent Bridge last season, they could crack.
Michael Lumb, Steven Mullaney, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Riki
Wessels, James Franklin, Chris Read, Sam Wood, Ajmal Shahzad, Luke
Fletcher, Jake Ball, Brett Hutton
Bring it on boys!