Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Sharif signing is interesting by Derbyshire ahead of RLODC
Sharif, from Huddersfield, moved to Scotland with his parents when he was five and has since become a respected bowler on the club scene. He currently plys his domestic trade for Glenrothes, but had a fine winter that brought him to the attention of Derbyshire and other counties.
I've often thought that the celtic countries haven't always been considered seriously for cricketers, with the classic case being Kevin O'Brien, considered a bit part T20 slogger for the most part, yet scorer of Ireland's first Test century yesterday. O'Brien should have been an automatic pick for a county looking for a T20 cricketer in recent summers, just as his brother gave sterling service to Northamptonshire and Leicestershire as a combative wicket-keeper/batsman.
To be honest, when I read today that 'Derbyshire sign Scotland star for white ball cricket' I thought that we had picked up Kyle Coetzer, a man I still think would make a difference in the T20 at the top of the order. Sharif it was, and after ten wickets in three World Cup Qualifiers against Zimbabwe, Ireland and West Indies he fully deserves his chance.
He has earned a reputation as a death bowler, going for less than eight an over and that is perfect for Derbyshire. With the jury still out on the location of the radar of Hardus Viljoen and Duanne Olivier, another seamer who can find line and length alongside Ravi Rampaul will be no bad thing.
I think our batting capable of scoring big in the one-day game and would feel that more if Billy moved back to the top of the order. With Reece, Madsen, Hughes and Critchley to follow, the decision would be which keeper got the nod, with both capable of improvising well. The most vulnerable batsman on current form would be Alex Hughes, but dropping a man who is one of your best fielders and can offer bowling options might not be the smartest move.
If we assume that Viljoen, Olivier, Sharif and Rampaul all play, there would be no room for Smit and Wilson, though maybe the latter would be given a breather after Ireland's first Test match.
We'll see soon enough but Sharif will be no makeweight in the attack and will play a full and pivotal role as white ball cricket takes over the summer.
I wish him well, as I am sure you all do.
You can see him in action against the West Indies here