Whatever else you might say about Derbyshire CCC, there are some good men in the squad.
There's Tony Palladino, man enough to stand up to match fixing when it would have been easier to turn a blind eye. Wayne Madsen, winner of a sportsmanship award for 'walking' when given not out by an umpire, then giving a percentage of his testimonial proceeds to charities. Now Billy Godleman, donating a third of his prize money for the PCA Scholarship Award to the local YMCA.
These are the actions of good men of fine character, aware of their status in life and wanting to give something back to people and causes that matter to them, as well as protecting the image of the game that they love. It is refreshing to see and all of them are to be commended on their generosity and professionalism.
Speaking of which, Imran Tahir destroyed New Zealand today in the first T20 at Auckland, taking 5 wickets for just 24 runs. It may not have been their first choice side, but once again it showed what a fine bowler he is and how difficult he is to face in this format. Perhaps the only way to play him with confidence is to just work it around, as his variations seem too much for those set on greater feats. He is quite a bowler and I look forward immensely to seeing him in Derbyshire colours.
Back home, it was great to see England legend Jack Russell working with Derbyshire wicket-keepers Gary Wilson and Harvey Hosein today. It appears to have been a similar masterclass to that enjoyed by Matt Critchley with Shane Warne and the players must pick up a lot in working with players of such status in the game.
All the work of Kim Barnett, of course, whose contacts book seems impressive in its depth. The variety of the pre-season work has been impressive and it deserves to be successful when the action starts.
With a little bit of luck and a flying start...who knows?