Northamptonshire Pre-Match Pack

Thursday 13th April 2017
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire has named a 13-man squad for the Specsavers County Championship opener versus Northamptonshire starting on Friday 14 April at The 3aaa County Ground; 11am start.

Jeevan Mendis, Daryn Smit, Gary Wilson and Luis Reece are all set to make their first-class debuts for Derbyshire after being named in opening squad of the season.

Hardus Viljoen, however, is unavailable after failing a fitness test following a recurrence of a a previous injury in training on Wednesday. He will now be monitored by the Club’s medical staff.

Captain Billy Godleman said: “It’s a shame for Hardus as I know he was desperate to play, but together we felt that it was a risk to play him this week.

“We have a squad for a reason and it’s full of quality players who can come in and do a good job. We’re looking forward to getting the new season underway and starting in a positive way.”

Sri Lanka international Mendis will bolster the bowling attack with his spin bowling option, while also providing experience to the top order which will include Shiv Thakor, Daryn Smit and Wayne Madsen – who is chasing a fifth successive season with 1,000 first-class runs.

Vice Captain Gary Wilson will take the gloves after enjoying a good first outing for the Club last week against Loughborough MCCU, scoring a century and taking three catches.

Derbyshire Squad

1. Billy Godleman
10. Luis Reece
26. Ben Slater
57. Shiv Thakor
77. Wayne Madsen
11. Daryn Smit
88. Jeevan Mendis
9. Gary Wilson
18. Alex Hughes
8. Tom Milnes
28. Tony Palladino
44. Will Davis
36. Ben Cotton


Northamptonshire will be buoyed coming into the match following their innings and 22-run victory inside two days versus Glamorgan.

After taking a 209-run first-innings lead, Northants dismissed Glamorgan in their second innings for 187, taking 22 points.

Rory Kleinveldt and last season’s leading first-class wicket taker, Ben Sanderson, impressed with the ball, taking six and seven wickets in the match respectively.

South African bowler Kleinveldt also hit 86 lower-order runs, but the main threats with the bat will be England international Ben Duckett and Captain Alex Wakely.

Pre-Match Talk

All-rounder Luis Reece says the side must play their brand of cricket in the first game of the season against Northamptonshire on Friday.

He said: “It has been a good five weeks since I arrived at the Club from my spell in Australia. The boys have been working really hard and we have had a couple of practice games and now we are in the outdoor nets and are ready to go.

He added: “Northants have a lot of talent in their side but as do we so we have got to make sure we are on our mark. We have got to be aggressive and play our brand of cricket and if we do that there is no reason we can’t finish on top.”

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