Derbyshire and T20 haven't mixed in recent years. OK, in any years. Our efforts at competing each year have at times been pitiful, at others frustrating but always underwhelming.
It has not been for the want of trying. There has been a range of big name signings, most notably last year, when the Amla/Dilshan combo patently failed to work. It should have, to be fair, but the former was out of touch and the latter, sadly, some way past his prime.
This year? Well, there is a trio of Kiwis - triwis, if you will - who could just bring their nation's nous at the format to the 3aaa County Ground. While neither Hamish Rutherford or Neil Broom have been in the best of touch so far, sometimes going and giving the ball a smack is just what the doctor orders.
The arrival of their fellow countryman, Jimmy Neesham, could prove a catalyst for them and for their team. Neesham, probably the most entertaining cricketer on Twitter, comes over as a genuine personality who combines sharp wit off the field with rare ability to excite with bat and ball on it. A back injury has set him back for twelve months, but now, fully fit, he will look to use the English competition as a springboard back into the New Zealand side.
He had a good start today, making 65 from 41 balls as a Derbyshire 'Second XI' beat the Unicorns twice. There were runs for his compatriots too, as well as for Alex Hughes, while it was great to see Tom Knight back in the wickets, taking 3-19 in the second game. Ben Slater took two with his leggies, with which he will doubtless be chuffed to the power ten...
Selection is going to be challenging for the right reasons, but I would love to see something close to this side on Saturday at Old Trafford:
Seven bowlers there, with Tony Palladino given a rest as the wicket-taker in four day cricket. Good depth in batting and excellence in the field. I like the balance.
We will find out Graeme Welch's squad tomorrow.
So what are your teams?