Good morning to all of you, no doubt a little down after England's World Cup exit last night in many cases. We watched the game in the local golf club in Berwick on Tweed, where we are on holiday, which hopefully explains my silence over the past day or two. It has been fairly quiet by recent standards at the cricket, so I have taken the time out to spend with my family.
Still there's cricket action to look forward to tomorrow, as we entertain Nottinghamshire at the 3aaa County Ground. We will need to be a lot more impressive with the bat than we have been to get anything from this game and while I believe we would be better chasing, rather than setting a target, we haven't yet taken anywhere near the requisite number of runs from the Powerplay to get far in this competition.
There is little can be done with the batting either, except maybe tweak the order. Perhaps it is time for Matt Critchley to drop down and let someone else open with Ben Slater, but he remains our best chance of getting off to a flyer. Perhaps the return of Hardus Viljoen would give us the fifth bowler we missed against Worcestershire, but only if he bowls like someone who can see where the stumps actually are. Then there's the wicket-keeping position, which is filled well by Daryn Smit but means that Gary Wilson, the captain, is in the field where he is some way from an asset.
Would John Wright be bold enough to drop his captain? I haven't been impressed by Wilson's batting so far and a bold move would be to give the role to Smit, who made a good fist of it last year when Wilson was on Ireland duty. They could alternatively look at Alex Hughes again, but either way there is plenty to occupy the minds of the coaches between times.
We'll find out soon enough but one man who will not be involved is Chesney Hughes, despite a second big century in successive matches for the second team. I feel for him and for Tom Wood, both playing and doing well for the second team after being released previously by Derbyshire, but it would be a big step for either to be re-engaged. Perhaps Ches is older and wiser now, more in touch with his game than he was and certainly lighter than before. Yet re-signing would be an admission of an earlier error in some eyes, even if both players have improved.
We will see what the winter brings, but the most important thing, for me, is to ensure that all of our current players are on deals that guarantees their staying at Derbyshire to the end of and hopefully beyond their current deals. Whether contracted or not, we all know that players move for greater opportunity or reward and that counties have previously bought out contracts of players they want to sign. It would be careless in the extreme if we were to lose any of the young players who offer promise for the future, as reports suggest is the case with Ben Slater.
On the likes of Ben, Matt Critchley and Luis Reece the club's future depends and we need to do the right thing by all of them to ward off the usual predators.