By crikey, that was a day, eh?
We were all just digesting the news that Wahab Riaz was coming to bowl his left-arm Exocets for Derbyshire, when the news broke that we had taken Mark Footitt on loan for an initial 28 days.
That is effectively the next two four-day games and then the RLODC, in a move that is good business for both counties. Mark is not in the first team at Nottinghamshire, having played catch up from a pre-season injury. He took some stick in his opening spell for their seconds against ours, but came back in his next spell and has always been a bowler who does best in longer stints.
His stamina was a feature of his spell at Derbyshire, when at times, in a weak attack, he could be both stock and shock bowler, a rare gift. Now he returns to be a part of what is potentially the fastest attack the county has ever fielded.
Viljoen - Olivier - Footitt - Davis. Now that would be a real pace quartet, and would allow the county to rest Ravi Rampaul. Indeed, with Tony Palladino suffering a side strain, the signing makes eminent sense and allows Kim Barnett and Billy Godleman to manage the workload of their seamers. Any one of the five could miss out, then return for the next game to allow another a breather.
Olivier will play them all, of course, as a short stint overseas, but that is serious bowling at the skipper's disposal and I am delighted to see Mark back at Derbyshire.
Of course, he could do well and return to Nottinghamshire in fine fettle. I hope he does, because if he rediscovers his mojo it will be great news for us.
The signing of the two quicks has been met with near universal acclaim, the only 'negative' comments being concern over the batting in T20, with our focus on bowlers.
I think we need to be perfectly clear here. Kim Barnett has gone on record as saying that John Wright chooses his overseas players. John feels that bowlers win you matches, in keeping the opposition score to reasonable bounds. You can see that philosophy in action with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, who are scoring less than the tournament average, yet conceding fewer.
Last year we did very well with the same batting line up. We lost to Hampshire not because the batting failed, but because the bowling did. Few sides can chase over 200 successfully and while Matt Critchley, Wayne Madsen and Alex Hughes can all bowl, I would much sooner them share four overs than eight.
If we can go with the fast right arm of Viljoen, the fast left arm of Riaz, the T20 savvy of Rampaul and an as yet unidentified spinner, we have sixteen overs of quality. Of course, a top batsman on a good day may still better them on occasion, but I fully understand and support Wright's rationale. Unless Gary Wilson's Irish commitments will rule him out of much of the tournament, a spinner, ideally a leggie, would do me just fine.
Yasir Shah has been mentioned, but that will depend on his recovery from the injury ruling him out of the England tour. Many other options have gone and we may yet need to call upon this year's President, Edwin Smith, to bowl some overs in the second half of the summer...
Joking apart, it has been a fine day for the Derbyshire supporter. I bet the Warwickshire batsmen have been checking their padding is all up to the mark before this weekend's game at Edgbaston. A table-topping game, with first playing second at this early stage of the summer.
Shaping up nicely, isn't it?