From a cricket-watching perspective, there is nothing better. You feel like you are one of the fielders, so close is the action. The wicket is normally good, the outfield fast, the boundaries small. Runs normally come quickly, though there is often something there for the bowlers.
The surroundings cannot be bettered. The beautiful Queens Park, with the bandstand to one side, the perfect flower beds, as well as the boating lake with the miniature railway. A little bit of trivia for you - that railway was laid by the brother of former Derbyshire groundsman Walter Goodyear. Might come in useful sometime...
It is what 'Pop' Larkin would have called 'perfick'. As long as it doesn't rain, as it did against Yorkshire a few weeks back...
Tomorrow, Derbyshire play host to the team currently leading the north section, Northamptonshire. They are well set for this competition, with some good, fast-scoring batsmen, steady bowlers and good fielders. Having said that, they just pipped Derbyshire at Wantage Road and we shouldn't be unduly worried about tomorrow. We have already proved that we can match the best this summer and have our own, long batting order, as well as plenty of bowling options.
It is an unchanged thirteen for us tomorrow, which I fully expect to translate to an unchanged side. It will do the attendance no harm to have local player Harvey Hosein in the Derbyshire side, though the young player is in on merit, without doubt
Our visitors hammered high-flying Warwickshire (or Birmingham, if you will) last night and have withstood the ravages of injury well this year. They have a small squad and, according to reports, could be set to lose Ben Duckett, Olly Stone and Josh Cobb at the end of the summer. That they have done so well despite all of this in the background speaks volumes for them and they will present a tough test for our lads. They have established a strong reputation at the format and I wouldn't like to call this one.
One thing is for sure - if we're not at our best, we will get our come-uppance.
Total focus and commitment is the only way we'll win this.
But we can.