Monday, 19 September 2016

Gary Wilson signs

Interesting news today, that Gary Wilson, the Ireland wicket-keeper batsman, has opted to leave Surrey and join Derbyshire on a three-year contract.

It is a good signing by the county, giving them an experienced cricketer with an excellent record. He has a first-class average of almost forty runs per innings, suggesting that he could, should we choose, play as a specialist batsman if required. He has done that at Surrey, where he has also led the side on occasion with flair and considerable skill. A good friend of Billy Godleman, I could see him taking on a vice-captaincy role at some point.

He also has over two thousand international runs for Ireland and is known as an excellent one-day finisher, scampering runs and working the field, something that hasn't always be the preserve of Derbyshire sides over the years.

While there will be those who say that the signing will hamper the progress of Harvey Hosein, I disagree and think that it makes a lot of sense. For one thing, Wilson misses some cricket through the season with his national call ups (which Derbyshire receive money for) and so Hosein will be natural first choice at those times. It also gives Harvey an experienced man to work and compete with, never a bad thing.

Some will say we should have brought in a number two to Harvey, but who? Derbyshire are not exactly a number one draw in the county game right now. We lost our coach mid-season, will be eighteenth of eighteen counties and needed someone good enough to take us forward. I'd suggest that a wicket-keeper prepared to come and be number two to a lad of 20 is going to be hard to find - or is probably not going to be worth signing.

That Harvey has done well since returning to the side is undeniable. He both keeps and bats beautifully, but his next challenge is to maintain that over the season. I am pretty sure that Harvey will start next season with the gloves and he will then need to work to maintain his current high standards over a season and its various formats.

That is a big ask for any cricketer and when you are looking for a lad of twenty to score runs regularly and keep wicket nigh-flawlessly for session after session in three forms of the game, it will be tough. If he manages it, the world will be his oyster, but if he doesn't, Derbyshire have a very good man there to take the gloves without fear of a drop in standards.

Derbyshire could have gone for Niall O'Brien or Phil Mustard, neither of who could really have played as a specialist bat, or for the likes of Adam Wheater or Steve Davies, both of who wanted to move to keep wicket (and probably wouldn't have come anyway). They could also have gone for Daryn Smit, who would have done a good job and could still do, as a batsman and spinner/keeper option. I don't think assurances will have been given to Wilson and it will be down to the two men to show that they are the best option with the gloves. The challenge will doubtless appeal to the new man, who had slipped back in the queue at Surrey, who seem to have more keeping options than most clubs have seam bowlers.

The only surprise for me is that we have a signing before the coaching setup has been confirmed. I suspect that further pieces of the jigsaw will be once that has been finalised and the potential targets assured of who they will be working with. You never know, though...

I can't fault the signing of a man who seems to have been very popular with Surrey supporters though and will doubtless prove the same at the 3aaa County Ground.

Welcome to Derbyshire, Gary.

The first piece of the 2017 jigsaw is in place.


Tim, Chesterfield said...

I like the signing. He can play as a batsman alone in four day cricket and probably take the gloves in T20 cricket to allow the side another all-rounder of some description. Tomorrow's side shows how thin we are batting-wise.

Ash said...

I think its a great signing. You can't expect HH to play all 3 formats at a high level next season so bringing in Gary could be a master stroke, the trick will be managing the players correctly, experienced top order batsmen and front line bowler next please, o and a coach wouldnt go amiss

Anonymous said...

Dont think the likes o whetaer or davies would come to derbyshire ina million years being brutally honest.

Wilson is on paper a decent signing, but dont think this seasons gone very well for him has it and he will find pitches very different to the oval.

i thinks its dissapointing signing to be honest as i think he will get the gloves at some point blocking HH. i disagree that Mustard could have come in as a batter alone. Its a btter option than the mercenary saffer at least i suppose as he has conuty expereince, but worried over HH's development.

High Peak

Peakfan said...

No, I don't think so either High Peak, as I said in the piece. He's hardly played first team cricket this year and no one can make a case if they don't get a game.
If Harvey does well I think he will be first choice. If he doesn't then we're not blocking anyone if out of nick. Merely having a proven plan B in place, not a young lad who may or may not be up to it.
Harvey will come on fine - at 20 he has a long time ahead of him and will benefit from quality support.
If regulations allow it, and they come to earn their money and not just coast, I've no issues with Kolpaks. Some very good ones have graced the county game.
After all, we all go where money and opportunity takes us - why shouldn't they?

Knack said...

One of the best pieces you have written , thoughtful , insightful and well balanced. As good a piece of work as this signing. This fits so well with our current situation, pushing but not too hard, let's hope the good news continues.

Peakfan said...

Thanks Knack..appreciate that!

Peakfan said...

Thanks Knack..appreciate that!

Alan said...

I confess to being a 'tad' disappointed that we didn't sign Daryn Smit up without delay. There may well be reasons which obviously I'm not privvy to, but although second team cricket is not quite the same as playing in the first team where you would expect the skill level a little higher, Smit was scoring for fun while he was with us. I seem to remember that he got a double-hundred in one game, and decent scores in others. Couple that with being more than a handy bowler, and a Wicket Keeper to boot, as you yourself said Peakfan, "what's not to like". Also remembering that he was used to English conditions through playing in the Lancashire league, I just hope that we have not missed a gem, and if we have, that we don't end up regretting it.

Adam said...

An excellent signing, I was surprised that we did not take him on loan earlier in the season when Harvey was injured. He will provide more than just runs, as someone else said elsewhere, he is also a very good slip fielder when not keeping (an area where we have struggled recently) and he will help Billy with the captaincy. He is experienced but still vey hungry to achieve much more in the game.

Gary said...

Have to agree with you Peakfan on the coaching issue. Players are leaving (in Parkinson's case), potentially leaving (in a couple of others cases)and new signings being made but who is making these decisions?
Being devils advocate we may get a coach that decides he desperately wants a spinner so would have paid more for Parkinson and not so much for a new keeper? What would that leave us with - another wasted year or two before they get a team that they want?
In another case he may be desperate to get someone to stay and may be able to convince them to sign a new contract at a smaller wage by way of good man management?
It just seems an odd way of working unless we have a new coach in place behind the scenes as whoever comes in may have a squad that they are not happy with??

notoveryet said...

I think this is an excellent signing. Wilson was on my list of possibly available wicket-keepers earlier in the season, but I didn't think that Surrey would be willing to let him go while he was still in contract, with Davies looking to leave and Foakes being a possible pick for England. I've expressed many of the concerns voiced by others about the impact of an experienced new arrival, but we had to bring in a second wicket-keeper, and, as you say, Peakfan, not many experienced keepers would be happy to play 2nd XI cricket. The benefit of as good a batsman as Wilson will be the possibility of playing him as a specialist batsman in 4 day cricket, and letting Hosein continue his development. For those who think we could have got by with just Hosein, you need to look no further than the experience of Ryan Davies at Somerset for how difficult it is for a young keeper to manage the workload, regardless of your talent and ability.

On the issue of the coach, I suspect that the decision must already have been made, not just because of the number of contract decisions being made, but the length of them. Gary Wilson made an interesting comment in his interviews yesterday, saying that "I know Derbyshire Captain Billy Godleman really well and I’ve heard plenty about what he wants to achieve." It seems unlikely that Godleman would be talking to potential recruits like this unless he's confident about his place in the scheme of things.

What I most like about Wilson is that he brings an understanding of what it needs to be a winner. A tweet from Dave Griffin last week reminded me that we have very little left of the promotion-winning side from 2012, and very few of the additions since then have had much experience of winning. Quite apart from the obvious shortcomings in the bowling, what has struck me most about the last two seasons is how often we've got into winning positions and not been able to complete the job. I hope that this will be reflected in the signings to follow, including the decision about the coach.

Peakfan said...

Very good post notoveryet..and indeed everyone. Thank you

Peakfan said...

Very good post notoveryet..and indeed everyone. Thank you