More good news emanated from the 3aaa County Ground yesterday, with Luis Reece signing a three-year contract to the end of 2020.
He did a terrific job for us in his first season, looking increasingly solid in the long form of the game, as well as confirming that he has a full range of shots and can score as quickly as anyone in the short forms. Add in his fielding and his useful left-arm medium pace and you have a very valuable cricketer. I am unsure in how much bowling he can do when he is likely to be batting in the top three, but for the angle alone he is a useful option for any captain, even if only for a few overs.
With Matt Critchley heading off to Australia on another cricket scholarship for the winter, following on from the news on Hamid Qadri's Young Lions call-up earlier in the week, it is encouraging, to say the least.
Yesterday, Kim Barnett revealed in an interview that we were looking for a seam bowler who could bat for the overseas role in the first half of the season, as well as a non-overseas seamer. I still haven't seen many players being released around the county circuit, although none of us know who is out of contract around the country. I would be happy with Azharullah, from Northamptonshire, but am unaware of other availability at this stage.
It is quite difficult to get a handle on the couple of players that we have apparently approached for that overseas role. I can think of a number of overseas seam bowlers, some of who can bat, but some will have IPL involvement which may limit availability. Getting the right man in will make a big difference, of course and I am sure we all await developments.
Finally today, and sadly, a warning.
I have always enjoyed and appreciated your comments on the blog and good debate is always to be encouraged on a topic.
Yet the Daryn Smit v Harvey Hosein discussion is starting to cross the line in what I would deem acceptable comment. We all know that you have a world-class wicket-keeper against a young local talent and the decision on who plays will always result in some people feeling that the decision is wrong.
Each of us is entitled to an opinion, but the team selection will be made by the senior group of players, who will want to win cricket matches and therefore have the best options available on the pitch. They are professionals, and while I have an opinion, I will usually defer to a professional. I don't call in a joiner or electrician to my house and tell him how to do his job.
A few recent comments have crossed what I would call the line of acceptable comment and brought into question the integrity and professionalism of the players at the club that we all support.
That is wrong.
Yesterday I deleted a comment that was some time in the writing, accordingly lengthy and, in its content, nothing more than a rant which the writer - 'Anon' of course - even mentioned at the end of the piece. I also deleted another that made abusive comments about me, which were not appreciated.
By all means continue to comment, because that is why I continue to write the blog and host it, but if I feel the line has been crossed, I will reserve the right to decline publication. And please avoid the assertion 'I know for a fact', because unless you are inside the club, the bottom line is that you can't. All you know is what a bloke down the pub told you, who was in turn told by someone who was making out he knew something, when he didn't.
We are supporters and, as I have said before, I care not which eleven take the field for us, as long as it gives us the best chance of winning a game. I have my own opinions, because it would be a dull old blog without that, but will not allow this blog to slip into the standard of other forums around the circuit.
Please keep that in mind when posting. Express your opinions, by all means, but please do not insult the professionalism of some very good people at our club, nor make personal comment about them or me, just because their opinion differs from yours.
The bottom line is that they all want the same thing that we do and, crucially, know what is required to get there.
See you soon.