I spent a while last night watching the T20 quarter final between Nottinghamshire and Essex, which easily went the way of the home side.
As a northern lad, I'll gladly hope that the side from that section wins, not only to highlight the strength of that northern section, in which Derbyshire produced some stirring displays. Even if we came out on the wrong side of some tight finishes that might otherwise have seen us involved at this stage.
Watching the brilliance of Samit Patel and Imran Tahir as they spun Essex to defeat was an education, for me and doubtless for the wider cricketing public. Time was that spin bowlers were considered cannon fodder in this form of the game, but they have upped the skills and become the road to success around the world.
I'd love to see a world-class spinner at Derbyshire next year. For one thing, they would give us a chance on some of the later game tracks where this year we have been found wanting. For another, with two young spinners of talent on the staff in Matt Critchley and now Callum Parkinson, a man who has seen and done it all would be a huge asset for both at a formative stage of their careers.
It is a tough skill to learn and many fall victim to the need to be able to bowl teams out in one form of the game, then keep them from scoring in another. There have been more that could do the latter than the former, as evidenced by the paucity of such talent in the county game. For all his talents as a cricketer, Moeen Ali is, at least for me, only in the England side as lead spinner because of the lack of viable alternatives and because he adds vital depth to the batting.
Perhaps Derbyshire should allow their young tyros the chance to develop to their own strengths, rather than falling victim to the need to be jacks of all trades. Let Critchley be lead spinner in one-day cricket, Parkinson perhaps fulfilling the same role in the longer forms. Then, when they are more confident in their skills and more experienced in the first-class game, they could team up in both, perhaps after they have added to their expertise with expert assistance.
A pipe dream? Maybe, but how nice it would be to see us in the knock out stages of the T20. Once again, tonight, a side from the northern group, Northamptonshire, won. Two from two, indicative of the group's strength.
More pertinently, if a team of such limited resources can do it, then there's hope for the rest.
Plenty of work to do over the winter to get there, though.