It was good to listen to Dominic Cork on Radio Derby tonight.
I will give him his due, he has remained a Derbyshire fan, even before he came back into the fold and has always spoken up for us on Sky, an oasis of sanity in the desert of 'Derbys' 'Madsdens' and at times patronising nonsense.
It was especially good to hear that the approach came from John Sadler and that puts my mind at ease a little. Both Kevin Dean and Kim Barnett are offering assistance, as and when required, but staying at arm's length, which is the way it should be. We are doing OK just now and the big danger is in the 'too many cooks spoiling the broth' malarkey.
John has done well and despite a few losses in his tenure, the side has shown fight and tenacity. I have seen enough Derbyshire sides go down with a whimper over the years and the current batch are, in their spirit, a throw back to better times. They are playing some very good cricket too, individually and collectively.
It was obvious again yesterday that a great need for next summer is a 'go to' bowler for whichever captain and format. Kim Barnett had it with Michael Holding, an experienced man who could bowl a tight over or two, maybe nick a wicket. Charl Langeveldt fulfilled a similar role over a shorter period and it is so important for any skipper.
When a batsman is going well, as Rikki Wessels was yesterday, as a captain you look at your resources and wonder who can make a difference. Such players can do that and find the lines and lengths required as a matter of course. They command respect on reputation, but follow it through with their deeds.
I wouldn't be averse to Jimmy Neesham again in T20, though I suspect the bigger fish of IPL will command his attention next year, if he stays fit. He averages 28 with the bat and is top wicket-taker with 14, albeit at nearly ten runs an over. He's bowled the key top and tail spells though, something he hasn't often done in the past and has performed steadily, if not spectacularly. That 'go to' bowler would help him too.
Tomorrow night I will be looking at Wednesday's game against Lancashire, who we have already proved we can beat this season. If we can get back to winning ways in that one, it sets us up royally for our big weekend.
The key to the biggest week the club has had in recent times will be in keeping the players relaxed but maintaining focus. If we can go out and play with maximum intensity, we can give anyone a good game and can beat a lot of sides. When Mick Newell says that his side produced a '9.5 out of ten' performance yesterday, but we were far from disgraced, it speaks volumes for the potential in a young team.
These are heady times, as exemplified by the visitors to this blog. There have been five thousand views over the last two days, as the blog has hit a new high in readership with a week of the month still to go.
Please do keep checking in and making comments. As long as I can understand them and they're not filed under 'personal attacks' they will be live pretty quickly!
Thanks for your interest.