As the county cricket season fast approaches fans from counties can start to get excited about seeing new signings, Derbyshire wait with baited breath for news of a signing to supplement an attack which despite the signing of Andy Carter still has a very large Mark Footitt sized hole lingering in it.
The likes of Brendon McCullum, Travis Head, Chris Gayle and the new star of South African cricket Kagiso Rabada will be strategically placed around the country, the midlands team are still awaiting news of their newest addition.
Chairman Chris Grant has promised the signing of an experienced bowler to help fill this gap, which will for fans hopefully put their minds at rest and give them something to get excited about in the run up to the new season.
What fans of Derbyshire Cricket Club do have to be excited about is the long line of their young players who have committed themselves to the club over the winter. Will Davis, Rob Hemmings, Harry White and Tom Knight are all bright prospects who have consistently shown promise in second XI cricket, with Knight also making nine T20 blast appearances for the club last season and Davis and White making impressive first-class debuts against the touring Australian side last summer.
The willingness of such impressive young players to commit themselves to the club, must surely be reassuring for the club and its supporters for the future.
Even more reassuring are the contract extensions of Alex Hughes and Harvey Hossein, securing the immediate futures of two of its most talented young individuals is not only reassuring but exciting for the club’s future and its present.
Both Hughes and Hosein cemented their places in the first XI last season, with Hughes scoring his maiden first-class century and making valuable contributions despite suffering two serious injuries and Hosein taking an impressive 32 catches as a wicket-keeper in the longer format.
They both however will be looking to kick on and further impress this season, making them automatic choices in all formats of the game and in turn ensuring the club’s decision to offer them new contracts this season the correct one.
In the way an erotic one night stand may bring its own special levels of intrigue, excitement and immediate enjoyment, a more committed and long relationship which you have grown, nurtured and invested in can be equally exciting and keep you happy for the rest of your life.
Derbyshire have opted for the later, and while these contract extensions might not bring the same excitement levels of Somerset announcing Gayle’s signing or Middlesex McCullum’s, these players will only be with the clubs for a few games and be gone.
I am sure some Derbyshire supporters would love to see a Gayle, McCullum or Finch play a few games for the club in the same way Amla graced the 3aaa County Ground last Season on a short term basis. However ask those same supporters if they would give up their long term loving and committed relationship for one night with whichever celebrity is flavour of the month I am sure they would opt for the loving embrace of their long term partner.
With this is mind they have to accept that their club is going to do the same thing, ensuring the future of the club is safeguarded. Signing its young players to form a nucleus of a home grown side for years to come, bringing the success the club and its supporters crave for years to come.
By Huw Lloyd