Derbyshire fans will have been waiting with baited breath today as to whether young wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein was as badly injured as they feared, after watching him bat one handed to try and guide Derbyshire over the line against Lancashire last night.
Alas, the news was not good and the fracture of his thumb is bad enough to keep him out for several weeks. This, coupled with the retirement last week of Tom Poynton due to a long standing ankle injury, means as Derbyshire go into a crucial period of white ball cricket without a fit specialist keeper.
Last week, following Poynton’s retirement, I tweeted this:
If (God Forbid) Harvey Hosein breaks a finger tomorrow who keeps wicket for Derbyshire with Tom Poynton's retirement today?
— Huw Lloyd (@Lloydzilla) July 18, 2016
I have since been accused of causing Harvey’s injury through jinxing him (sorry Harvey) and of being able to see the future. I can assure you neither are true. First, I’m not that mean and second, I have never even won a tenner on the lottery.
With today’s announcement though, we do now know the answer to my question, and the answer is Alex Mellor.
Mellor has come to Derbyshire on loan from Warwickshire for one month and is available for all forms of cricket during that time. He has been a regular for Warwickshire’s second XI this season and has previously played for The Unicorns and Staffordshire, where he holds the record for dismissals in a match and is also one of only seven players to have hit a double century for the minor counties side.
Derbyshire fans, coaches and players alike will be hoping that Mellor can recreate this kind of form when turning out for the Falcons, as they look to push for a quarter final place in both the Natwest T20 Blast and Royal London One Day Cup.
John Sadler appears to be confident that Mellor will be able to do so, saying “With a busy period of white-ball cricket coming up, we’ve moved quickly to sign a quality wicketkeeper in Alex.
“He has experience with Warwickshire, and before that with the Unicorns and Staffordshire, and I’m sure he’ll do a terrific job for us.”
Only time will tell if this is the case and if Mellor does perform well, with only one recognised senior wicketkeeper on the staff, this move could be made permanent over the winter.
As Sadler also said earlier today “As well as providing valuable cover, the loan will give Alex a taste of first-team action at the business end of the season.”
Could this loan move be more of a job interview for Mellor? Again only time will tell, but either way Mellor is at the 3aaa County Ground at Derby for the rest of the season and he will be pivotal in deciding Derbyshire’s success over the coming weeks.