Twenty20 Specialist Coach, John Wright will be looking to make his mark as Derbyshire start their NatWest T20 Blast campaign on Friday 7 July against Northants Steelbacks.
Wright won the Indian Premier League with the Mumbai Indians in 2013 and is regarded as one of the top coaches in the shortest form of the game.
Director of Cricket Kim Barnett turned to Wright in a bid to transform Derbyshire’s chances and continue to develop on recent improving form in Twenty20 cricket as the squad heads into this summer’s NatWest T20 Blast.
Derbyshire have only once reached the quarter-final stages and has never appeared at a finals day before, but with new signings Imran Tahir and Matt Henry there is a clear plan to target teams with the ball and force wins.
“We have to improve,” Wright said. “I’ve looked at the figures and I see we concede a lot of runs per over and we don’t score that many runs per over so if you can’t change those numbers you’re not going to win lots of games of T20.
“I always thought there’s an opportunity to improve and it’s a great challenge. I’m not at the start of my coaching career, I’m sailing off into the sunset and this might be my last crack but we’re going to have a real go at it and I’m looking forward to it.”
Wright recognises the importance of taking opportunities and putting Derbyshire in winning positions by scoring quickly and economical bowling is vital to their chances this summer.
“Particularly in T20, you can’t be too prescriptive, there’s aggression, being positive, all those sorts of things and there’s not a lot of time for second guessing.
“What I will be encouraging the boys to do is when you get into a situation where you have an opportunity to win, you’ve got to look at it in the right way and not to be too fussed about the what-ifs.”
Derbyshire play their first game at Northampton on Friday 7 July, before taking on Yorkshire in front of a sell-out crowd at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield on Saturday 8 July.
“It would be great to start well because then you can get some momentum and winning can be a habit,” Wright said.
“There are situations where teams haven’t experienced winning enough and you can see the doubt creeping in and I suppose that’s a great challenge for all of us.
“Hopefully if we can learn how to do that and repeat it we will do better this year. I’m new and sometimes that can be an advantage. I think we have a great bunch of guys who want to do well and I think if we can just get some wins together, everything else will take of itself.”
Having the world’s number one rated one-day bowler in Imran Tahir and the New Zealander Matt Henry should improve Derbyshire’s chances of reaching the knockout stages.
Tickets for this summer’s NatWest T20 Blast are selling fast, with the home fixture against Yorkshire Vikings on Saturday 8 July already at capacity, and tickets for the local derby against Notts Outlaws on Friday 4 August selling fast.
NatWest T20 Blast is back this July and August. Save £4 by purchasing your matchday tickets in advance. While further discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Buy online today to secure your place and save.