Saturday, 16 August 2014

Potential new name?

I wasn't too surprised to see Azeem Rafiq released by Yorkshire today, but can see a decent-sized queue forming for his signature.

At 23 the lad has much to offer and is a good cricketer. He is a very accurate off-spinner and has proved himself especially effective in one-day cricket, where his T20 rate is under eight an over, very impressive by any standards.

A first-class average of mid-thirties per wicket doesn't suggest that he is yet the new Saqlain Mushtaq - if he was, they would be retaining his services - but he is a steady bowler who crucially has time on his side to get better. He can also handle a bat and has a first-class century to his name.

Adil Rashid is way out in front of him at Yorkshire and with promising spinners in their academy, they have made the decision to let him seek cricket elsewhere. I appreciate the rationale, but their loss could well be another county's gain.

A previous loan spell at Derbyshire, under another coach, was successful and the loss of Peter Burgoyne this summer has left us without an off-spinner, with the exception of Wes Durston's occasional slows. Marcus North's bowling has been little utilised this year and while we nominally have three slow left arm bowlers, Chesney Hughes has had little senior cricket this year and David Wainwright's bowling has only sporadically been successful.

Tom Knight's action is being re-modelled in readiness for next summer, so our spin cupboard, if not akin to Mother Hubbard's, is certainly a long way from full.

With two of our coaching staff having strong links in Yorkshire, the merits of Rafiq will be well-known and, perhaps more than anyone else whose availability has become known thus far, I could see merit in a move to the County Ground. That's always assuming we don't have someone else lined up, of course...



Marc said...

Rafiq is a player I would be very interested in. It is unlikely anyone better will come onto the market and I do hold the view we require another spinner.

He is still young enough to improve over the next two or three years and is a player who may develop into a useful lower middle order batsman. If I were Welch I would be heading up the M1 with the forms next to me. He is certainly worth a two year deal.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I'd have him. Simple, now who's next?

Huw said...

Any player who has captained England at any age group has ability and, Rafiq is no different!

He would be an excellent signing and would be more than happy to see him in Derbyshire colours next season. Not only is he an excellent off spinner who gets dip and turn when in form, but he is a more than useful batsman too.

The other signing I would love to see us make is Stephen Davies from Surrey. I am sure he will be available with Surrey signing Foakes and Davies not keeping all season.