Saturday, 24 September 2016
Chesney Hughes leaves
It is disappointing, as the departure of a player who has given good service always is, but to be honest I had been expecting this for the past few weeks, like most of you and the announcement at least draws an end to a process that hasn't been 'clean' from any perspective.
That the club has been unable to agree terms with Chesney suggests that the demands from the player or his agent, in one way or another, had been unrealistic. At the end of the day, the club has a salary structure that has to be adhered to.
Chesney had his best summer this year, averaging over fifty in the first-class game, but whatever he was wanting, either in salary or in conditions of contract, the club was not prepared to meet. That is their prerogative and they have made the decision based on information that only they know.
That he was wonderful to watch on the good days is undeniable. That he was frustrating on the bad ones is too, the feet not moving and the same mistakes being made this summer that were when he first emerged on the county scene.
The bottom line for me is that Gary Wilson, the one player signed at this stage, has a better first-class average in all formats than Chesney and offers more from a team balance perspective than he did. There was a time when the big Anguillan's slow left arm suggested itself as a potent option, but more recently he has turned his arm over only slightly more often than me.
Difficult situations - and no one can deny that we are not in that - require difficult decisions. If this situation was affecting the mood within the club and causing discord (which it may or may not have been) then the parting of the ways is for the best. The only way that we can move forward as a club is if everyone in it is pulling in the same direction.
No player is bigger than his club and if this leads to improvement for Derbyshire and the furtherance of Chesney Hughes' career then it is very much for the best.
We will always remember the days when Chesney bludgeoned opposition attacks, while his marathon 270 against Yorkshire has left him indelibly stamped in the club record books.
I wish him well in his career and thank him for the entertainment he provided.
As for Derbyshire, the rebuilding has begun and I can't find fault with decisive action.