If Andy Carter was feeling homesick following his Summer move from Nottinghamshire he needn’t have been worried. A familiar face will be joining him from today, with Derbyshire announcing the signing of paceman Luke Fletcher on a one-month loan deal from Nottinghamshire.
The tall paceman will be available for the county’s first five Specsavers County Championship fixtures, starting with this week’s opener versus Gloucestershire and continuing with matches against Glamorgan, Northamptonshire, Sussex and Essex.
Fletcher had success whilst on loan to Surrey last season, playing 3 first class games and taking 8 wickets at an average of just over thirty. This included match figures of 6 for 79 vs Derbyshire at the 3aaa County Ground and he will be looking forward to playing in similar conditions and adding to his first class wicket haul of 213.
Fletcher, who has a reputation for being a white ball specialist renowned for his ability to bowl the perfect Yorker on demand, will be keen to use his time at Derbyshire to enhance his reputation with the red ball, something he was keen to point out when he said:
“It’s an opportunity to play some four day games, take wickets, hopefully contribute to victories for Derbyshire and ultimately push my case to find a way back into the Nottinghamshire team.”
Fletcher has found his way to the Nottinghamshire first team in First Class cricket blocked by the emergence of Jake Ball and Brett Hutton, and the signing of Jackson Bird as Overseas Player for this season, coupled with the ECB’s decision to allow Stuart Broad to play the next three Specsavers County Championship. He will be hoping a successful spell with Derbyshire will show when he returns to Nottinghamshire, which will coincide with Broad’s return to the England fold, that he can be as potent with a red ball in his hand as with the white one.
Fletcher will no doubt have been lured to the 3aaa County ground not only with the prospect of regular first class cricket, but also the opportunity to work with Elite Performance Director Greame Welch, who is highly regarded in England as being one of the best bowling coaches in the game.
As it was with Andy Carter, who made the permanent move over the Summer. Carter said in a recent interview:
“I knew it would be a good move coming to Derbyshire and getting to work with Greame Welch who is one of the best around.”
Welch was also keen to point out that he is an admirer of Fletcher saying:
“Luke is a skilful bowler who has plenty of experience taking wickets for Notts in Division One. He will bolster our attack during this busy period and it will also be an opportunity for him to get some regular first team cricket.”
Derbyshire Chairman Chris Grant promised a loan signing of an experienced bowler earlier in the off-season. He has delivered on his promise and was clearly excited by the signing, tweeting out the news at 6 o’clock this morning.
This may prove to be a very astute piece of business, adding experience for the start of the season, to help the battery of young seam bowlers at Welch’s disposal. Hopefully getting the side off to a good start to the season, building momentum to propel Derbyshire up the table, which could be vital in a season where Derbyshire play seven Specsavers County Championship games in the first Seven weeks of the season.