Friday, 16 February 2018

Derbyshire announce Mitchell Santner as second half overseas player

Last season Derbyshire signed the then-ranked best T20 bowler in the world in Imran Tahir.

This year, they have done it again, with the signing of New Zealand international Mitchell Santner, who is currently ranked the world number one in the format.

I hadn't considered him for the role, which will see him playing as one of our T20 players, as well as in the second half of the summer's four-day cricket, because I was sure his current status would see him return to Worcestershire. He did very well there last summer and will doubtless do the same for us in that format.

Having just turned 26, he is a genuine spinner of the ball and his control has seen him concede under seven an over in T20 cricket, where he is also a very handy batsman. With two first-class centuries to his name and a Test average of 25, he can claim to be a genuine all-rounder, something that Tahir could, of course, never do. The development of his 'carrom ball', spun between his thumb and middle finger, has created quite a stir, as can be seen in the clip below. Though not new, the grip similar to that used by Australians Jack Iversen and John Gleeson over the years, the delivery has come back into fashion through Ajantha Mendis (below) and Ravi Ashwin.


He will also add much to the side as a brilliant fielder, so this can very much go down as a coup for Derbyshire, certainly for the T20, where a man who can save runs in the field wins matches, without question.


My only concern is that his best first-class bowling is 3-51 and with an average of 46 he has some work to do to  attain the status of the short form game. My guess is that we will be aiming to blast sides out with seam and having a proven international player to, at the very least, keep it quiet at one end will be of great value as the summer progresses. So to will a player, at seven or eight, who could make a match-defining score. Perhaps 'Mitch and Critch' could be our spin bowling masterstroke later season.

We will see. We have had mixed experience with our Kiwis. While John Wright and Martin Guptill were great successes, it can safely be said that the jury is still deliberating on Hamish Rutherford, Jimmy Neesham and Neil Broom.

It would be nice to see Santner making it all square and his arrival makes the fast-approaching summer a compelling thought.

All we need now is confirmation of John Wright's return, together with the signing of Martin Guptill, and I might just head for Asda and buy some Kiwi fruit to celebrate...

Here he is dismissing Aussie captain Steven Smith, with a more conventional slow left-arm delivery.

Well done Derbyshire. And welcome to God's Own County, Mitchell Santner.

Now, let's hear your thoughts...



  1. This is excellent news! It also shows the influence of the Peak Fan blog as I suggested Santner as a good T20 target on 13 Feb! He is a top T20 bowler but can also bat so will add strength to the lower order. If we can also now sign a top 6 batsman - with Guptil the ideal target - then start booking T20 Finals Day tickets now. Also, many congratulations to Matt Critchley on his England Lions up. Very well deserved! James

  2. Happy with this one Peakfan.
    Most importantly in that he always seemed to be giving 100% whenever I saw him play for Worcestershire.
    Good all round cricketer, and a great addition for DCCC.
    Roll on the start of the season.

  3. Santner seems a terrific signing and a heartening statement of Derbyshire's ambition. A pity his knee injury prevented him from confronting the record-breaking Australians in Auckland today. Fellow supporters will now be following his white-ball and possibly Test performances over the next six weeks.

    1. Indeed, Old Supporter, but on a ground that size I reckon he was well out of that game to be honest.
      May as well play T20s at Heanor...

  4. I agree peak fan, he was well out of today's game, there needs to be some minimum sized boundaries to at least give the bowlers some hope. I saw a little on TV and much of the radio commentary on today's game and half hit edges were sailing well over the boundary, no chance to field or catch, that's not even 20/20. A bowler needs to be able to show their skill and contribute to a game, not just watch someone with a big lump of wood wacking it everywhere!
    A good signing and shows intent by DCCC, now Guptill would give a nice mix of youth, hosein, critchley, Hughes, davis etc. and experience Madsen, godleman, viljoen etc. One can dream. Well done to Kim and his team.

  5. Excellent signing, very pleased. Obviuosly excels in T20 & knows what county cricket is about after his stints with Worcs. An interesting T20 possibility is that our opening attack will be Madsen & Santner.
    I am surprised that this has been announced before our overseas for the first half of the season - hopefully not a problem with that one. I believe that if we can sign a good international pace bowler then that should mean that we can start the season strongly, with every chance that we can carry that momentum through the season

  6. A knee injury? Sounds like a typical Derbyshire overseas signing! Let's hope it is not too serious.


  7. Hey...I once hit a six at Heanor, don't knock it ! 😊


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