Good evening and welcome says Jim White and welcome to Transfer Deadline Day – we are going to cross straight to Huw Lloyd who is in Leicester with some exciting news for us.
“That’s right Jim, I’ve news of a fantastic double signing, I’m here at the Fischer County Ground, Grace Road where Leicestershire CCC have just announced the signings of Cameron Delport and Gavin Griffiths.”
“Wow Huw, that’s huge news so early on this day, I can’t see anything overshadowing that today, forget David Luiz signing for Chelsea or Jack Wilshire going to Bournemouth, that is big” replies Jim.
We can dream can’t we, dream that media would give our great game and its transfers as much gravitas as the big money signings that occur in football, alas they don’t, but this does not mean that the signings today for Leicestershire are any less important than Jack Wilshire needing to find a beach-front house in Bournemouth.
Take Delport, who has signed to play white ball cricket for the club again next season, after impressing for the foxes in 2016, playing 12 times for the club in Natwest T20 Blast and Royal London One Day Cup, averaging over 29 and over 35 in each competition respectively with the bat and taking 8 wickets across both formats at an impressive average of under 23.
If he can replicate this form and bring success to the club in the T20 Blast with a trip to Finals Day, or a Lords final in the Royal London One Day Cup, then he could be a signing of great importance for the club.
An importance seen by Leicestershire chief executive Wasim Khan MBE who said, “Cameron made a big impact when joining us this year and we’re really pleased that he will be coming back to play for us in 2016.
“It is important to strengthen the squad with white ball cricket being played in blocks in 2017 and we’re sure that Cameron will make a significant contribution again.
As Khan says, white ball cricket will be played in chunks next year and having a player of Delport’s power and prowess available for all aspects of it will be a big bonus to Leicestershire as they drive for success in the shorter forms of the game.
Then there is Gavin Griffiths, to be released by Lancashire at the end of the season and has signed a two year contract with Leicestershire.
The right arm paceman impressed whilst on loan at Hampshire this season when he played five T20 Blast games for his adopted county, taking five wickets at an average of just over 20, which is impressive but more impressive is this young man’s potential.
Potential which in 2015 his captain at the time Steven Croft saw in him and tipped him for the top of the game and now potential which Wasim Khan MBE has also spotted,
“Gavin was extremely impressive making his T20 debut for Lancashire in testing circumstances and has also made an impact while on loan at Hampshire, so we’re delighted that he is joining us.
“He’s only 22 and has had a good upbringing at Lancashire, so we’re looking forward to Gavin continuing his career development with us at the Fischer County Ground.
Clearly Griffiths is not the finished article, but he is someone who they can work with and develop, someone who can learn from their battery of experienced seamers like Dieter Klein, Richard Jones, Neil Dexter and especially Charlie Shreck and develop and add competition for places, to drive other players on.
The signing of this promising youngster is a slight seed change in Leicestershire’s transfer policy from last winter, where they signed mainly experienced county pros who had been there, seen it and done it, players such as Dexter, Paul Horton and Mark Pettini who have helped the club’s improvement this season.
Now as they look to bring in younger players who can drive the club forward for years to come, Griffiths may well be a name who leads the Leicestershire attack in the future.
As I hand back to Jim in the studio – hopefully avoiding the crowds of fans hanging around for information on possible signings – I tell him he can keep his multi-million pound transfer news, Leicestershire have done excellent business, safeguarding their future in the bowling department and giving them a good chance to improve their squad for white ball cricket next season.
Thanks Jim, back to you in the studio.