With Derbyshire having already announced the signing of Duanne Olivier and Mitchell Santner for the two halves of the season, Santner being one of our permitted two overseas players for the Vitality Blast, the search is presumably ongoing for the other player.
How difficult is recruitment for counties these days! Before signing Olivier, we had to wait to see who was picked up for the IPL, while any signing for the second half of the season has to await any expressions of interest and subsequent engagement for the Caribbean Premier League.
The Vitality Blast starts on Friday July 6 at the 3aaa County Ground, with the CPL starting on August 8. Thus, any player picked up for the latter will perforce miss at least the last four group games in this country, which is when it gets down to the nitty gritty, of course.
I had previously suggested that Martin Guptill or Andre Russell would be good options for Derbyshire, with Colin Munro another option. Yet the first two named earned two of the top paying $160K slots in the Caribbean, suggesting that they won't need a stint here to keep them in beer money. Munro went for $40K and just about every player you could think of as a viable option seems to be involved, as you can see here
I've never been a fan of 'revolving door' overseas players, which was seen at its least effective when we signed Dilshan and Amla. Fine players both, legends in their own country, yet adjusting to English wickets proved problematic for them in whistle stop visits to the county.
Maybe there's another South African in mind, but for continuity they may at least consider a return, even to cover those last few games, for Jeevan Mendis.
He has had a good winter, which recently saw a return to national colours for T20 games against Bangladesh, where he did well. We all know his limitations with the bat from last season, but on wickets that will be closer to what he is used to, he can make a difference in the closing overs, as a hard hitting batsman who can clear the ropes. His cameo against Glamorgan was a key factor in our win there last summer, while his unbeaten 44 from just 23 balls carried us over the line against Warwickshire in the RLODC.
As a bowler, a partnership with Mitchell Santner (and Matt Critchley) would give us good control and additional depth to already long batting. Taking 30 wickets in an overseas stint that began in April was a good stint for a leggie, and I would be happy to see him return for a format in which he has done well around the globe.
And certainly in what would appear to be a very limited market. They will pick up someone good, for sure, but I hope this shows that it is some way removed from phoning an agent and quickly doing a deal.
As always, I welcome your thoughts on a potential T20 side that would then be along these lines: