New Zealand International Jimmy Neesham has signed for Derbyshire CCC for the Natwest T20 Blast and will be available for the whole T20 season.
We’ve all been there: you have all the pieces of the jigsaw in front of you, you put them together there’s still one missing piece, the finishing piece, the piece that brings everything together and allows you success.
In signing Neesham, Derbyshire will feel they have the final piece in their T20 jigsaw. A piece they hope will propel them to T20 Finals Day for the first time. To date, they are one of only two sides, along with Worcestershire, to have never reached the ECB’s marquee event.
Neesham has T20 experience playing around the world in the IPL for the Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders, the CPL for the Guyana Amazon Warriors and for his country, representing them in 13 T20Is. The New Zealander seems set to be the experienced head Derbyshire have been craving towards the latter stages of their T20 innings, the piece of the jigsaw which completes the puzzle making sure they get over the line, the finisher if you will.
In previous seasons winning positions have been relinquished by their talented but so far inexperienced youngsters. Had these opportunities been taken, a Finals Day place could have been achieved.
Neesham, who will be joining fellow Kiwis Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford at Derbyshire this season, also brings an impressive bowling ability to the table, taking his international T20 wickets at 22 with an economy rate of just over 7.5.
This international experience again will help the battery of young seamers at Wayne Madsen and Greame Welch’s disposal, as they look to develop and hone their craft. Kevin Pietersen openly talks about how he benefited from working with established and experienced international players in the IPL, hopefully Neesham can be the experienced player who helps the younger players at Derbyshire develop into international standard players themselves.
Having three pieces of your jigsaw which you already know fit together well and work together makes the signing of Neesham, along with Broom and Rutherford is a very astute piece of business by the club.
With all three players playing for the same side in their own domestic competition and being available for the whole season, gives the opportunity for a team ethic and ethos to be built and bought into by all.
In the modern era of multiple overseas and Kolpak signings, it is refreshing to see players committing to full seasons as the three Otago Volts players have done for Derbyshire. Elite performance director Greame Welch recognises this also and was keen to point out that “To have three internationals, all of whom are teammates in New Zealand, available for the entire NatWest T20 Blast campaign is massive and will provide us with stability on the field and within the dressing room.”
Neesham is also equally excited about the season ahead, working with his Otago team mates and playing for Derbyshire saying “The opportunity to play the entire NatWest T20 Blast this summer with Derbyshire is fantastic and it’ll be great to join up with Hamish and Neil, the three of us being able to contribute as a unit is a big attraction and should give us a real head start.
“Hamish has told me a lot about the club and their ambitions for the NatWest T20 Blast, and I’m looking forward to joining up with the squad later this year.”
It will be interesting to see in the signing of Jimmy Neesham is the final piece of the jigsaw for Derbyshire and if we get to see the completed puzzle on Finals Day at Edgbaston on August 20th or if Derbyshire will be putting the pieces back in the box, not to be played with until next season again. With the signing of Jimmy Neesham however, they have certainly made steps in the right direction.