In the closing hours of 2017, a chance to wish all of you, wherever you are, the very best for the year that lies ahead.
In the season just past, that now seems a distant memory, Derbyshire made decent strides forward. The T20 can be looked back upon with considerable satisfaction, providing more memorable moments than that competition has managed in the previous five. If we can persuade John Wright and Dominic Cork to return, then recruit a couple of top players for the competition, we could easily manage the same, if not better, next year.
In the four-day game, I suspect our season may have panned out differently had Hardus Viljoen been available all summer. If he starts next year in the same form he ended this, has the expected support from the experienced Ravi Rampaul and perhaps an overseas seamer who can bat in April, then our championship may be less the form of also rans, more that of promotion candidates. With, fingers crossed, a fully fit Will Davis in the mix, we should bowl sides out.
Neither of our two batting lynch pins, Wayne Madsen and Billy Godleman, were in their best four-day form last year, but there was enough progress elsewhere in the side to suggest next summer could be one to excite us.
To you and yours, enjoy your evening and I hope that 2018 brings everything you wish for.