Thursday, 9 October 2014
Davis news lights up dismal October
Davis is the latest off a conveyor belt of talent emerging from the Academy. For too many years, the only seam bowler of note who came through was Atif Sheikh , now at Leicestershire. His inability to 'knuckle down' was apparently an issue with us and it is hoped that he learned his lesson and will go on to a decent county career with our neighbours. He shouldn't lack opportunity there, that's for sure and if anyone ever had incentive to work hard over the winter, then Sheikh has.
For Davis, however, the future is bright and he will take his place among the likes of Ben Cotton, Tom Taylor and Greg Cork, all of them fighting for a senior opportunity. I was amused to read on another site that we should make a move for Tymal Mills of Essex, which immediately raised the question "Why?" to my lips.
Mills is older than our quartet and that he has raw pace and some ability is undeniable. Yet he is a long way from a proven county bowler and to sign such a player, for me, sends out completely the wrong message to young players. Our own lads have some way to go, but they will doubtless work very hard over the winter and I expect to see them return stronger in 2015. Their potential is every bit as good as that of Mills, who appears likely to go to Sussex or Worcestershire.
I'd far sooner promote and offer opportunity to locally-reared talent, unless we can bring in someone who covers a gap or is noticeably better. There are a good few players of nomadic bent out there who will play anywhere for the biggest salary. There are others who want to be a part of something and are happy to take a decent reward for doing so, without being perceived avaricious. While I don't blame people for taking larger rewards, there is sometimes a bigger picture.
Take Gemaal Hussain. After years of trudging round counties for trials, he got a deal at Gloucestershire and had a terrific season in 2010, taking 67 wickets at 22. He could have had a decent, lengthy career there, on bowler-friendly tracks, but instead opted for a move to Somerset, where conditions were less favourable. In three seasons he took forty-two wickets at around 45 and drifted from the county game.
Greg Smith is another. Has his career really kicked on by moving to Essex? The answer is no, as he is far from a regular in the side. Like the policeman in Pirates of Penzance, the lot of a professional cricketer, approaching thirty and outside the first team, can not be a happy one. That's why I expect to see us sign Wayne White soon, offering him a more productive and beneficial environment than that at Old Trafford. With hard work, especially on his batting, White could get back to his best days at Leicestershire and be a major component of a Derbyshire side I expect to challenge seriously for promotion next year.
Around the circuit, another Greg Smith, the Leicestershire variety, has signed for Nottinghamshire. He is another player of talent, but he will be hard pressed to force into a batting line-up of big names and I'm unsure as to whether he has been especially well advised. I'm not sure I'd want my lad to sign for a club where the next big name is only a cheque book flourish away. Broad, Taylor, Gurney, Smith...maybe the solution for Leicestershire is to change their name to Nottinghamshire Seconds and get their full, financial support...
Didn't get their best player though, did they? I'm looking forward to seeing Shiv Thakor next summer and he's another reason for a smile on my face as we go through the worst month for cricket fans. While the players are doubtless soaking their weary bones in the Aegean or somewhere, we fans are resigned to six months (or approximately 180 sleeps if it makes you feel any better) till 'proper' sport starts again.
There's the Big Bash and IPL between times, but that is just an aperitif before we see our team back in action. Hopefully there will be some news from the club soon.
Which is roughly when I'll be back!