Sunday, 20 August 2017

Correspondence catch up

I thought I would use a lazy Sunday morning to catch up on correspondence over the past week. Some of the questions suggested that the answers may be of more general interest, so I will put the answers in here.

I remain happy to give my thoughts on a range of Derbyshire cricket-related topics. I don't expect you to agree with all (any?) of them, but they are out there for the world to see!

Do you think that the quarter-final will be a sell-out?

It should be. It deserves to be. It would be a reward for the efforts of the Derbyshire side, which has been quite special this summer in this competition. The side is a work in progress and will continue to be for some time, but it has 'clicked' in this competition. Most of the time...

How come we once had eighteen thousand at Derby as a capacity, but now have much less than that?

Because health and safety legislation has changed, as has the ground. When that number attended the first day of the game against the Australians of 1948, the ground was a large open space, a racecourse. I have no idea how many of the crowd saw much of the match, but it is now an enclosed stadium and the capacity is set at 4999, above which different health and safety criteria come into play.

It is the same at Chesterfield. I was there for the Gillette Cup semi-final of 1969, when the crowd was reportedly 11,000 and packed like sardines. You simply cannot do that today.

Isn't our qualification in the T20 devalued because of 'all the Kolpaks'?

My parentheses. Point of reference: we have ONE Kolpak, Hardus Viljoen. Daryn Smit plays here on an ancestral visa, Wayne Madsen is English-qualified. We have the two permitted overseas players and six English players, four of them coming up through our academy and/or second team.

Personally I think that a good mix.

Wouldn't you sooner have seen an eleven of local Derbyshire-reared players?

In an ideal world, yes, but that is some time off. The days when we could do that (1936) are long gone and we need to catch players early, teach them the right habits and support them as they develop.

I think it will be the 'Qadri generation' where we get closer to that. Their fruition is some time off and, in the mean time, we are doing the right thing in being competitive. While the less knowledgeable will come out with the 'Kolpaks' slur, there is an even greater danger, at a time when the county game is changing, in being the perceived, expendable, weakest link.

How would you strengthen next season?

Wherever we can find players who are better than we have! I think most will accept that we need one seamer of quality at the very least and number three in the batting order has never been filled to satisfaction. Maybe someone will make that their own before the season ends, but they haven't as yet.
As I said before the season, if Davis and Viljoen stayed fit, we'd have a serious attack. They haven't, Tony Palladino isn't getting any younger and none of the others have staked a claim for a regular berth in the side.

With more South Africans reportedly considering a Kolpak deal before the end of the year (when the window is likely to close), would you consider another one?

In a heartbeat. I am plucking names out of the air here, but if one from Morne Morkel, JP Duminy, Chris Morris, Hashim Amla and one or two other rumoured names were desperate to join up with guys they know from back home and live in God's Own County, why would you say no?

As I have said before, good young players will still come through and will thrive in a competitive environment IF THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH. There are no free meal tickets in life and to get to the standards set by the likes of Madsen, Tahir, Viljoen and Smit you have to work very, very hard.

To eventually replace them, you need to watch them and work with them, listen to their advice and try the things that they advise.  Eventually, if you are good enough, your time will come. Some won't make it and the county history is littered with good cricketers who dominated at club and second team level, but couldn't make that final step to first-class. It is the way of things, just as we are not all cut out to be managing director or chief executive of the company.

A question of my own to finish - do you think we would now be looking forward to a quarter-final without that quartet named above?

A little rhetorical, perhaps...

As always, your thoughts are most welcome.


Anonymous said...

Last season and this season Derbyshire have had a strong limited overs team compared to the championship. The signing this year with Wilson, Reece, Smit, Viljeon have strengthened the limited overs side. This year is now seen as success whatever happens on tuesday night. How do we find the seamer that gets wickets. I think Mendes had a good season for us but would we go for a spinner again at that time of year? I am all for it in the summer months. I think Derbyshire best hopes is getting a player who is not getting match time at one of bigger clubs. I wouldn't be against going for kopack as long as they improving the side. I still think the academy needs to produce more players for our long term sucess. As a supporter it is being aware patience is needed.

Robert Bolder said...

Yes but Derbys and other small counties are kept in business by an ECB grant (this is more then half of a lot of smaller counties income). I think this is around £2m per year.
The main purpose of this grant to me is to produce international cricketers for England and promote cricket, both playing and watching in that area.
Dont think Kolpacks or players on EU passport do this.
Kolpacks must be well paid to move to another country and give up international cricket thus taking money away from developing a counties own talent.
Kolpacks to me or just a short term measure and not good for the long term English game.

David Woolley said...

Just a thought Peakfan, but it's just been announced that Ian Bell has given up the captaincy at Warwickshire/Birmingham, as he is upset at being left out/dropped for their match at Old Trafford last friday.

He would be an ideal signing, if we could get him. Top player with International experience, and would fill our number three position.

Or am I dreaming????

Tim, Chesterfield said...

It's a bit embarrassing that we have a sub-5000 capacity at HQ. Might as well play the game at Queens Park.

David Woolley said...

Hi Peakfan.

Reference my earlier quote about Ian Bell.

It now appears he has stood down to concentrate on his batting, rather than being annoyed at being left out. Amazing how 'quotes' change so quickly. Also, didn't realise he would be 36 years old by next season.

Oh well, the search goes on.

Stephen Malkin said...

I was a member for over thirty years I was quite surprised to read on the club's website that members are being charged £20 to get into Tuesday's quarter final,in my time as a member I attended several quarter and semi-finals at the county ground but I don't recall being charged to get in is the 50 over games the same?

Anonymous said...

Unsure if game will sell out on Tuesday. I acknowledge we have small capacity but admission price slightly too high for me when compared to the other games. By the way I have bought my tickets for the game.

Advance ticket Prices are as follows:

Glam v Foxes £16
Notts v Somerset £18
Surrey v Bears £20
Falcons v Chants £22

NatWest 81

jasper said...

Just T20 I believe.

Peakfan said...

Yes I agree Jasper.

Peakfan said...

Yes David. I think he is past his very good best. A few years too old but right sort of player for sure

Peakfan said...

It's a balancing act David. You want to compete and win, as well as giving opportunity. I think we have it about right just now.We have all seen a team of largely young lads struggle and what can be done with quality experience.

Ash said...

I for one would love to see 11 players from the academy playing for us however I think we all know this ain't going to happen, what you do need to do in picking your overseas and kolpak players is picking the right ones.......we've all seen before players playing for us that obviously haven't got an interest, this season we seem to have picked well, Tahir is the standout (world class) It's been disappointing that HV has been injured but whenever I have spoke with him he has come across as being 100% for us and cannot wait to get in full stride, Smit has got respect after being made stand in captain, I personally think Henry has struggled but his heart is definitely with us. Where do we next season? Well, 1st of all who is out of contract? Anyone know? I agree another seamer would be good, whether it be an overseas, kolpak or English based. Thinking about the CC team a bowling attack of HV, Davis, Palladino A N other seamer, with Reece and Hughes backing up (where Thakor stands in this only time will tell) with spin options of Critch, Qadri. I'd be happy with that, will Tahir come back? I'd take him in a heartbeat, perhaps the same deal as this year and instead of Mendis for the 1st part of the season why not try for a top class seamer? Will Sandu get a deal? Still think we are a batsman short, did anyone notice that James Kettlebourgh played for the twos last week? Another thing that needs addressing is a coach, KJB stated he was only here for a year.......any chance Sir John Wright could come for the season as director? Perhaps he could give the CC team a shot in the arm (working alongside Billy of course) Thoughts???

Peakfan said...

Theres progress Ash and tweaks needed. I havent checked contracts but have in my head that Milnes and Cork, at least, are due to finish this year.
We would all want Tahir, I think and ideally a seam bowling all rounder for early season. Maybe Henry would be better with more bowling for rhythm.
I saw Kettleborough was playing, as Akhil Patel has been, but after two counties are they ready for a 3rd?
I hope KJB stays on. He has unfinished business but most of his work has gone very well.
Viljoen has been a frustration but his talent is obvious. Tahir and Reece great successes, Henry a better bowler than he has showed in the coconut shy of T20.
Lots to discuss...other views?

Anonymous said...

It's been an up and down journey, to be sure.

The latest 'down', however, is £25 a pop for the QF on the day.

Please don't try and compare it with football or F1, diffrent markets but it just hints at commercialism (given that when you get in it's £3.70 for a pint of cider in a placcy glass).

Nic H said...

Hmm. Add that 'stupid booking fee' on and it's 24

RG said...

All of this debate is fine but Robert Bolder is quite right....County cricket's only purpose is bringing through potential England players.....all the talk of more Kolpaks or not is irrelevant. Just concentrate on those who qualify.

Peakfan said...

Thats the stated objective RG, but give me a choice between a winning Derbyshire or England and it is us every time.
And good players will emerge better placed to play at top level if they play against good bowlers every week, rather than having to up their game substantially.
As long as it doesnt get like the Premier League in football its fine.
And it wont as theres really only Saffers worthwhile...

Bereft Statistic said...

I bought our tickets online on Saturday morning and went and picked them up on Sunday afternoon. I must say I was encouraged by the sheer number of tickets waiting to be collected. The Chief Executive was there and I think I heard him say that they had sold more than 2,000 tickets at that point. I did find the pricing a little odd. I'm a Student Member, so I was all set to buy a Member's ticket for £22 until I noticed that they were offering a student ticket for £15!


Peakfan said...

Thanks for getting in touch, Sarah!

Yes the thing about T20, as a piece in this month's online Cricketer shows, is that there are few away fans travel more than 90 mins for a game.
While football fans will think nothing of it to follow their team, cricket fans don't as often, so we shouldn't expect a huge Hants following...
Sounds like you bagged a bargain!

Ash said...

So I bagged my tickets on Sat, opened up my emails this morning, Ive gone and won 2 from Natwest, so Ive 2 tickets for sale! Make me an offer!!!

bill said...
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notoveryet said...

I thought I heard during the WWC that the capacity of the ground is 3,500, though I'm sure there aren't that many seats. The issue about price is bound to be linked to the market, and all of the other quarter finals are on test grounds. They will be trying to maximise attendance at grounds they might not be able to fill at such short notice, hence the lower prices, particularly in Glamorgan's case.

I think it's Milnes, Cork, Wood and Mcdonell who are out of contract at the end of the year. With 9 pace bowlers on the staff plus 3 all-rounders, it's hard to see how you'd justify an expensive import of another unless someone leaves. Milnes and Cork are obviously the most vulnerable in these terms, but both are in the T20 squad, which presumably gives some idea of their value. If they are given new contracts, there isn't going to be much scope to add to what is already a big staff by 2nd division standards.

In amongst the excitement of last week, the Second XI win against Notts passed without comment, Notts fielded three-quarters of the pace attack that took us apart the previous week in Footitt, Hutton and Ball. They took 5-182 in the seconds' match, compared to 14-272 in the 4 day match, and Hutton took 1-55 compared to 10-126 against the first team. Obviously, different pitch, different conditions, and different context with no Hales to score a double century, but the contrast between the performances in two games so close together was interesting in the context of whether we have players to replace out-of-form first team players. It was also encouraging to note that Will Davis was back bowling and Sandhu (not counted in the 9 pace bowlers above) also had another good performance.

Dave said...

If Derbyshire sell the 5000 available tickets for tomorrow's match , about 2000 people will have no seat to sit on.
We are still awaiting the re-installation of approx. 1000 seats temporarily out of action during the 'ground improvements ' of last year.
Get there very early , would be my advice.

Mark said...

I want to hear some noise on Tuesday when I'm sat with my dad with beer in hand, at his house. Show the Derbyshire team the messages from Hants supporters about how easy they've got it in this quarters game, no other motivation needed.
Big games needed from one to eleven, but two key players for us are Henry and Viljoen if ever there was a time for them to stand up and be counted it's this game. Henry is showing slow signs of improvement, Viljoen concerns me greatly although his last game was good.another 70-80 runs from their combined spell and it's big trouble. Come on Derbyshire it's now or never.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

There are plenty for people to choose from on Warwickshire CC's website mate.

Steve H said...

One of the earlier points you raised was about Utopia CC, a Derbyshire Eleven.

I doubt we will see it's like again, but continued new brushes regime after regime never really give it chance.

It's an ideal which is nice to talk about, and to make those who spout it feel as though they could make that change. They probably mean it too, but as the P45 is posted, the next coach knocking will have his ideas, his views and off around we go again..

Ash said...

Dont think you will get many offers for your tickets with 'billbremner' for an email address!!

bill said...

I'm sure there are Tim and I would not blame anyone for looking there first but I should think there's not much chance of getting an adult and a child ticket together next to the pitch. Not at face value plus the postage anyway.

Enjoy your quarter final!

bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.