Thursday, 15 December 2016

Adieu to Broom as Kiwi returns to international fold

There have been quite a few departures since the end of last season and the last of them - at least, one assumes the last - became clear today, when Neil Broom opted to return to the international fold with New Zealand. He will play in their forthcoming one-day series with Bangladesh, thus giving up his entitlement to play in the county game on a British passport.

It is great news for Broom, as any cricketer wants represent his country, but it's a shame too, as his was a talent never truly proven at county level. In common with most fans of the county, I hoped that 2017 was when his obvious talent came to full flower in Derbyshire colours, but it was not to be.

A mid-twenties average is not what one expects from an overseas player, but Broom was an albeit experienced player in a foreign country, with a pregnant wife. It can't have been easy for him and while there were glimpses of his talent in both four and one-day formats, there wasn't quite enough to win over the supporters.

It does, however, pose the question as to what next for Derbyshire?

I don't think that going with what we have is an option. We only need an injury to Billy Godleman or Wayne Madsen and we're left with a largely unproven batting line up. While Gary Wilson has plenty of county summers under his belt, he is starting afresh and I think - I hope - that Derbyshire will be looking at options.

One of these will undoubtedly be South Africa, where the weak rand, the quota system and Brexit mean that players on the periphery of the national side and with no guarantee that they will remain so, are looking around at options. Good cricketers are finding their international  - and domestic - ambitions blocked by sides  not selected wholly on merit, but on colour. You may be a very good player, sir, but we can only pick so many whites in the side and we feel these guys are better, while these over here HAVE to play. It is the sort of weighted selection process that affects some club cricket (Terry cuts the grass, Bob's wife does the teas and Alan's Missus is a dab hand with the score book...) but seems odd at this distance. More so, when you are closer. Heart-breaking when your chosen career is affected by it.

Brexit? While the situation hasn't been confirmed as yet, it appears that any Kolpak deal signed before the end of 2017 will not be affected by Brexit and a cessation of European-led mobility of labour regulations. So Simon Harmer, Rolof Van Der Merwe, Stiaan Van Zyl and our own Hardus Viljoen will be able to continue to ply their trade here and make good money in doing so, at least in comparative terms.

They won't be the last and Wayne Madsen wins the 2016 Peakfan Award for Soothsayery (I made that word up...) with his prediction in my latest book that a lot of South Africans would head over here in the near future.

If we ended up with another top quality Kolpak - heck, even two more - and it made us a strong side, I doubt there would be too many complaints. Look at the impact that Alviro Petersen and Ashwell Prince had on Lancashire two summers ago, as an example. If the cream of domestic talent is going to be hived off to play in this city-based competition in the near future, we may as well have some quality overseas support to offset their involvement...

The best of the young players will still, I think, progress, but would come into a competitive side that played hard-edged WINNING cricket, the type that accelerates their development and teaches them good habits. The sort that Kim Barnett himself, John Morris and Chris Adams came into as they replaced Barry Wood, John Hampshire and David Steele a few decades back.

As most of the available county circuit players have signed deals elsewhere now, I expect Derbyshire to look to the Cape, or be looking for another overseas national with a granny from Belper, playing on a so-called ancestral visa. I dare say that Daryn Smit, who scored 200 for the seconds last summer, might be worthy of consideration, though there will doubtless be others.

There will be a statement from the club in due course, but I would be surprised if we simply sat back and did nowt. The bottom line is that we simply can't afford another 2016.

I don't see that as an option, quite honestly. An experienced batsman, a competitor, a WINNER is what we need.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Smit I would be open to and I mentioned him in the other thread. Wonder if we wish we had done a deal with Chesney now. Frankly I think we needed another top bat before this news so this now makes it a necessity as far as I am concerned.

Ash said...

Sorry peakfan.......probably better posted here.....
Broom going does not change much for me, just means Wilson and HH deffo start the season (for me anyway) I suppose it depends how much money it frees up, I would like to think that KB has options for another batsman. To be fair its the 1st bit of disappointing news we've had for a while and for a Derbyshire fan thats quite good going! There has been (for me) so much positive news of late that something a little negative feels a little worse than it probably is. #WeAreDerbyshire

Stevie B said...

Daryn Smit - could be the new Kuiper - good back up in all positions (literally!).....and experience of English wickets....unlike our last season Kiwi's/mercenaries

Anonymous said...

And Smit bowls some half decent leg spinners apparently so would fit into the new philosophy. We literally have the overseas and then Critchley. Madsen bowls part time spin also but with Parkinson leaving we are a bit short of back up spin options. Add Durston and Chesney to that list of leavers also. And like someone said he has experience of English wickets.

notoveryet said...

It's worth noting that Derbyshire hasn't actually said they are prepared to release Broom yet, and there must be a legal issue if he goes ahead and invalidates his qualification by playing for NZ before he's been released from his contract. It might be that Derbyshire is waiting to see if he actually plays on the basis that he retains his qualification if he doesn't play. It's an odd choice for him to make, though, as he's going to have to play a good few one day matches to make up for the loss of his Derbyshire contract.

It probably won't be a surprise after my comments on Broom during the season that I disagree with some of the comments here, and don't see his departure as a significant loss, although it's irritating that it comes so late, and after months of unremittingly positive news. I don't buy the argument that he struggled to adapt to English wickets, partly because he never looked as if he was struggling, and partly because you simply wouldn't expect an experienced New Zealander brought up on similar types of wickets to take a whole season to adapt. He so often gave it away when well set that I think it was a concentration or attitude thing, and this was also reflected in how often he dropped catches and misfielded. As a supposed senior player, he often looked detached and isolated, and while it's possible he was a livewire off the field, it was noticeable that he was the one experienced player that Billy Godleman never consulted. I suppose it's possible that he would have come good in his second season, but it certainly couldn't be assumed. As it is, Derbyshire will lose an expensive player who contributed far less than most of the younger, less experienced players.

I wouldn't want to go down the Kolpak or UK passport route for his replacement. It might be that Kim Barnett is going to be better at this than Graeme Welch (it would be hard to be worse!) but there's too much risk attached to paying large amounts to players without a track record in English first-class cricket. The problem of course, as you point out in your post, is that there were very few experienced batsmen in the market this year and they are all committed elsewhere now. Now if only there was an experienced, effective English middle-order batsman averaging say 50 plus who was available! There is of course, but his name is Chesney Hughes. I thought it was a mistake to let him go in the first place, and unless bridges were too badly burned before his departure, I'd like Derbyshire to look at him again. It might be that his sense of his own value might have been moderated by his inability to find another county, or that Derbyshire place a greater value on him in the absence of Broom.

Peakfan said...

Good points well made as ever, notoveryet.

I dont think we have any clout over a national board and a prepared statement will doubtless come over the weekend with what we plan to do. Broom is cited to bat 4 and will, in my opinion.
As for his replacement I would take a GOOD Kolpak over an average player released by another county every time. We have been burned way more times like that, but nor do I want a bloke with no reputation. There's always a risk that one could do a Broom or Robin Peterson, but it is a risk worth taking.
Chesney? Bridges burnt there, I feel and I am sure all avenues will have been explored prior to release
Granted he averaged 50 but got most of them on early summer roads and the runs dried up as the season progressed.
I am sure a contract announcement elsewhere isnt far away, delayed only by him likely being back in Anguilla.

Adam said...

Chesney was according to The Cricketer magazine a couple of months ago considering an offer from West Indies cricket to potentially put himself in the frame for international selection but there has been no firm update on that.

It is an intriguing situation that we find ourselves in as we have a number of young batsman, Reece, McDonnell, Wood, Hosein and Alex Hughes who were potentially not going to be in the side. This will possibly offer an opportunity to one of them now, as certainly domestically there are few options. I do not believe that Ed Joyce has signed his new contract at Sussex yet as there was some discussion about him moving back to Dublin and travelling in for championship games. If there were any chance of talking to him if Sussex cannot reach a deal then he would be a great short term option but I think it is wishful thinking by me!

Congratulations to Neil though, getting selected for your country is the ultimate sporting honour and I hope that his second chance goes well, he could be coming over here for the Champions Trophy next year if all goes to plan.

Peakfan said...

Sound comments Adam. Maybe one of those you mention would rise to the opportunity, but I would still prefer a more experienced long as he contributes.
Thats something you can never predict, of course!

Ash said...

Some good points made previously but I feel I have to make a few points, Chesney Hughes is a flat no with me, where has this this average of 50 come from ? Are we taking 4 or 5 innings or his full record? He's another that has faltered to decieve for me, good on his day but had too many off as well, we've have moved on from this for sure, give HH and Gary Wilson an opportunity, if not, lets gets another decent Kolpak or UK passport holder player to have a go, I dont care who he is or where they are from, if they wear the badge and produce for Derbyshire they are just fine with me

mh said...

Chesney's first class average last season 53.73
Over 19 innings 806 runs, 4 not outs.
3 hundreds , 4 fifties

agreed , much better than he had managed in previous seasons,
and still less than Madsen, Hosein and Thakor

Ash said...

Still wouldnt want CH back, we've moved on thanks

jasper said...

Chesney and his agent had an inflated opinion of his value which Derbyshire did not agree with. In my opinion the club were right. On his day Chesney was good but on others he struggled to make an impression at Lullington. Wish him well but not consistent enough and hampered by a back problem which unfortunately restricted his bowling which was a useful option particularly in t20. We move on.

Steve H said...

Derbyshire, to me anyway, seem to suffer from always having " a good crop of younger players". There is always a danger of looking always to the next crop, never allowing the present the time they need to mature.

So, if Broom has taken himself out of the equation, surely Madsen,Godleman and Wilson can allow Slater, Hughes, Thakor and Hosein the time they need, as can Palladino, Viljoen and Mendis/ Tahir help along Davis,Taylor et all?

Looking straight away outside the group shows really that the club say the right things regarding younger players, but when push comes to shove, they lose their nerve.

Anonymous said...

Confirmed by official twitter he's gone. Hints at replacement but also says we have lots of young talent. Seems like we might have got some
compensation. Certainly will have freed up some wages.