Tuesday, 25 November 2014

At last, some news

The news that broke yesterday regarding Wayne White's release by Lancashire should have caught the eye of most Derbyshire cricket fans.

Given that he spent the closing weeks of last season on loan with us and his brother has a summer contract at the club, one doesn't need to don a deerstalker to work out that Derbyshire are likely to be favourites for the player's signature.

There will be those who point to his Lancashire record and suggest that he isn't good enough. I disagree. I look at the figures he produced with bat and ball at Leicestershire to confirm that White has talent in abundance. You don't produce those statistics without the ability - nor do you lose that talent. Likewise his figures for us in that loan spell suggest that he still has it.

For one reason or another, it didn't work out for White at Lancashire. Sometimes the environment in which a player finds himself isn't right, for whatever reason. Look at Rikki Clarke when he was at Derbyshire - he could hardly buy a run, wasn't great with the ball and was a big mistake. Yet his form at Warwickshire has been excellent and few would turn him down were he to express an interest in a return under the current administration.

If we pick up White, I will be thrilled and regard it as a key piece of the jigsaw, but we will hear more about that in the next few days I am sure, if it is going to happen.

Changing tack, the signing by Glamorgan of Colin Ingram on a Kolpak deal has been met with comments elsewhere as to why we didn't sign him. The player is known locally, after a stint as professional for Spondon, so there was a natural fit.

For me, we don't need him. There was a time I might have said we did, but looking at our staff for next year, I'm unconvinced that a decent, but no more than that, Kolpak is necessary. Assuming he is to bat in the middle order, Ingram would thus have taken the place of either Pujara, Madsen or Thakor in a notional line up for next summer. I see no logic or common sense in any of those being replaced and, when we have young talent starting to emerge, it would send out completely the wrong message.

I am sure he will get his share of runs for Glamorgan, who may well be keeping a welcome in the hillsides but are not exactly furthering the cause of Welsh talent in their recruitment policy. Ingram will join Jacques Rudolph and Michael Hogan from overseas, signings that will make them competitive but at what cost?

In closing today, I was saddened to see the awful injury sustained by Australian Phil Hughes last night, one that has left him critically ill in hospital. I had earmarked the player as a potential early summer signing by Derbyshire, as one of the brightest young batting talents in the country and someone with a point to prove.

What it means to his future cricket career is anyone's guess, but in the short term the most important thing is for him to recover.

I am sure that everyone will join me in wishing a young player of great talent the very best for a speedy and full recovery.

Postscript - with today's news regarding Azeem Rafiq training with Derbyshire so they can have a look at him and work with him in the nets, I think I called it pretty well in my last post...

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