Get off the mark this week with six quickfire stories to keep you up to date with news from Derbyshire.
The new season is now less than four weeks away, as Derbyshire begin the new Specsavers County Championship campaign versus Middlesex at The 3aaa County Ground from Friday 20 April.
As preparations continue for the 2018 season, we take a look at the latest news from the Club from around the world.
1. First outdoors training session
The Derbyshire squad have trained outdoors for the first time in 2018, with improved weather allowing for an outdoor net session.
Focusing on red ball skills, batsmen and bowlers have been able to prepare in the conditions they are likely to face in the early part of the season, ahead of the opening Specsavers County Championship fixture in less than a month.
Wicketkeeper-batsman, Daryn Smit, said: “To be out here is the most realistic practice we can have. The conditions are juicy and seamer-friendly and that’s what we’re going to get in the first game here against Middlesex.
“We’ve prepared well and covered all bases in our preparations, so we are ready for that first game.”
2. North beat South in Barbados
The North beat the South 2-1 in their three-match 50-over series in Barbados, following a decider on Friday. All-rounder Matt Critchley, who made his England Lions debut earlier this month, starred with the bat in the series leveller, before making a solid contribution in the decider.
The 21-year-old hit a quickfire 64 off 37 balls, including four fours and as many sixes, in a blistering onslaught which put the North out of sight of their chasers and leveled the series.
In the final game, following good batting from batsmen up the order, Critchley was only required for the back-end of the North’s innings in the decider, finishing the innings with 25 not out. With ball in hand he proceeded to take 2-46 from nine overs as the North ran out 92-run winners to seal the series.
25 not out ?
2-46 off 9 overs ?
92-run victory ?
2-1 series win ?
— Derbyshire CCC (@DerbyshireCCC) March 23, 2018
3. Squad use facilities at National Performance Centre
Restricted by weather last week, the Derbyshire squad took advantage of the excellent facilities at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University.
With both batsmen and bowlers practicing with the swinging red ball in early-season conditions, through to final innings run chases in white-ball cricket, the squad stepped up their preparations ahead of the new season and have set their sights on the opening fixtures.
4. Changes to Playing Conditions for 2018
Concussion Replacements will be available for the first time in all four professional domestic competitions this summer, in one of a number of significant changes to the Playing Conditions.
As a result of the changes, a team will be able to replace a player who has concussion or a suspected concussion, and the replacement will be permitted to bat and bowl. The replacement must be deemed a “like for like” replacement by the Cricket Liaison Officer appointed for each match, or by the umpires if a Cricket Liaison Officer is not present.
Other new features of the 2018 season, which follow the changes to the Laws of Cricket introduced by the MCC last autumn, include immediate on-field punishment for disciplinary offences and mock fielding, and restrictions on the size and shape of bats.
5. Ireland narrowly miss out on World Cup
Ireland and Gary Wilson narrowly missed out on a place at the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019 after losing to Afghanistan in their final Super Six game.
After splitting their opening four matches into two wins and two defeats, Ireland sat fourth heading into the final game, knowing only a win could take them through.
Batting first, Ireland posted 209-7 from their 50 overs, with Paul Stirling top-scoring with 55 as Wilson hit 11. But a resurgent Afghanistan chased down 213-5 in the final over to win by five wickets and claim the final qualifying spot at next summer’s World Cup.
6. Davis pushing for start in opening game
After injury ruled Will Davis out of most of last season, the fast bowler says he is back stronger and targeting a place in the 2018 season opener against Middlesex.
The 22-year-old made a good start to the 2017 season, returning 13 wickets in the first two Specsavers County Championship matches, before injury left him sidelined for most of the remainder of the summer.
But following successful rehab and a good pre-season, the tall quick is hoping to cement a place in the first team in the face of healthy competition in the form of international bowlers, Hardus Viljoen, Ravi Rampaul and Duanne Olivier.
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