There was an interesting interview with Kim Barnett on the club site yesterday, which gave a few teasers for the plans for 2018.
To be fair, we already knew that a seam bowler who could bat would be the target for the early months, and you can place your bets and name your possibilities for that one. I have already suggested that Jason Holder would be a good fit and another who might be considered is South African Wayne Parnell. He would offer a different angle, but he usually gets a lucrative IPL gig and I would think that the confirmation of the role will not come until the IPL draft has been completed.
It would appear that Imran Tahir is in line to return for the T20, but only wants to play in that format, so the search for the overseas player in the second half of the summer will be ongoing too. That is, I suppose, unless we can find someone who is happy to play the T20 and then stay on, which may or may not be possible.
A spinner appears to be the preference, which is logical, but the number of quality spinners in the world game is limited and probably restricted to Asia. Whether or not a deal could be found to bring over an Indian bowler for experience, much as Ashwin played for Worcestershire last year, is a moot point. Yet I suspect most of the top Indian players are quite happy with their lot and income from exclusive IPL deals.
Rashid Khan of Afghanistan might be a brave pick. He has played little first-class cricket, though when he has played the short formats he has bamboozled the best. At 19 he may welcome experience, but could also be overwhelmed by the volume of cricket and the different tracks. I suspect a county move somewhere isn't far away and based on his performances so far, it would be well worth following.
It isn't easy here though. Yasir Shah is a fine bowler, but took some stick in bowling for Kent and his fourteen wickets came at 38 runs each. For all people moan about standards at times, plenty have come over here at great expense and struggled, with little to remember them by.
It should make for an interesting few months.
In other news, Tom Milnes is off to Australia to work on his game and will then return to Derby for pre-season. My understanding is that Milnes has one more year on his current deal - which I couldn't find noted anywhere.
2018 is a make or break summer for him and one or two more. There is a good cricketer in Tom Milnes, one capable of late order runs and wickets, but we must hope that his winter down under and regular cricket there sees him less prone to the bad ball an over that frustrates.
The irony of our early season search for a seam bowler who bats is that we have one on the staff who can do the job. A rough diamond needing polishing, but a diamond for all that.
Hopefully he will come through next year.