The news of Andy Carter's departure from Derbyshire, announced today, doesn't come as a surprise.
The player signed a two-year deal at the 3aaa County Ground and I had high hopes that, despite a career blighted by injury, he would be a competent replacement for Mark Footitt. Nowhere near the pace, of course, but hostile enough to be awkward and, based on his efforts for Glamorgan and Nottinghamshire last year, felt he could be a leader of the attack.
The truth is that he wasn't. I just got the impression that he was bowling differently and the new regulations on the toss didn't help him. Nor did they help Luke Fletcher, an old sparring partner across the East Midlands, when they briefly teamed up at the start of the season. Neither took many wickets, nor, truth be told, did they really look like doing so on wickets that were far too much in the batsman's favour for any meaningful cricket to be played.
Six wickets in four matches at an average of 73 in the first-class game. There were too many 'four balls' and he seemed some way removed from his best. He clumped away merrily as a tail end batsman, but that was always a bonus and the core need of the team wasn't fulfilled as many of us had hoped. At 27, playing in the second team was no more use to Carter than it was for the club and merely replicated last year when we had Jon Clare and David Wainwright in the second team. Their salary dictated that they should - needed to be - in the first eleven, but performances required otherwise and so it was with Carter.
The Derby Telegraph reported that he wanted to play red ball cricket and that prompted a fall out with John Sadler. The truth is that selection for any senior team has to be performance-based and Carter's returns in neither first nor second team made a strong case for inclusion on merit.
He did better in the one-day competitions, but again not well enough to suggest him an automatic pick in the side. Supporters felt we would get as much, quite likely more, from Ben Cotton or Tony Palladino and the emergence of Will Davis in recent weeks suggested that Carter would struggle for a first-team place next year, even before the club embarked on winter strengthening that may include an overseas bowler.
In short, it was a good idea that didn't work out for player or county and the parting of ways, a year early, is best for both.
I wish Andy well in future pursuits, whether that is inside or outside the game.