Get off the mark this week with six quickfire stories to keep you up to date with news from Derbyshire.
The 2018 season gets underway in less than two weeks, 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. Pre-season friendly versus Warwickshire
Billy Godleman has named a strong 14-man squad for the three-day Second XI friendly versus Warwickshire at Edgbaston, starting on Monday (11am).
The fixture, which was switched from The 3aaa County Ground due to bad weather, will be the county’s first red-ball pre-season game.
New signing Ravi Rampaul is due to make his first outing for the Club after arriving in Derby last week, while former Kent fast bowler Charlie Hartley, who is on trial with the Club, has also been named in the squad.
SQUAD: Godleman, Reece, Slater, Madsen, Hughes, Critchley, Smit, Brodrick, Palladino, Rampaul, Davis, Taylor, Qadri, Hartley.
— Derbyshire CCC (@DerbyshireCCC) April 8, 2018
2. Hughes keen to contribute with the ball
Alex Hughes emerged as a leading player for Derbyshire last year, but he is ready to be a part of the supporting cast with the ball to help the Club challenge this season.
The 26-year-old was awarded his County Cap on the back of some impressive and mature batting displays and now he wants to improve his contribution with the ball.
With the arrivals of Duanne Olivier and Ravi Rampaul adding to Hardus Viljoen and the young Will Davis, Derbyshire have a potent new ball attack, but Hughes and Luis Reece will have an important role as back-up seamers.
3. Rampaul arrives at The 3aaa County Ground
Experienced fast bowler Ravi Rampaul has arrived at The 3aaa County Ground and is ready to hit the ground running ahead of the 2018 season.
The former West Indies international brings a wealth of experience to Derbyshire, having played 133 matches for his country, including 18 Tests and 92 ODIs.
With over 700 career wickets to his name, Rampaul is targeting contributions across the board for Derbyshire as the Club aims to build on an improved season last summer.
4. Wilson targeting improvements in all forms
Gary Wilson is striving for success with Derbyshire this summer, whilst aiming to make a landmark appearance for Ireland in May.
Last summer the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman led Derbyshire to a first knockout match in Vitality Blast cricket since 2005, whilst he hit 401 first-class runs, including a top-score of 97, all in his maiden year with the Club.
The 32-year-old hopes to build on the Clubs success in the shortest form of the game, but also improve in all forms with the use of a well-balanced squad.
He said: “It’s always exciting come the new season. I feel like we line-up pretty well and we’re going to look to fight on all three fronts. I want to be part of a good side and I want to be in that starting XI.
“We had a good T20 Blast last year so we look to go further in that, but also improve our results in red ball cricket and the 50-over format as well.
5. Reece hopes winter work can help Derbyshire
The heat and noise of the Bangladesh Premier League is far removed from the English county circuit but Luis Reece is hoping his experiences on the sub-continent can help Derbyshire over the coming months.
Reece was rewarded for an impressive Vitality Blast tournament last year by a contract with the Chittagong Vikings which provided the all-rounder with the chance to compete with and against some of the game’s top players.
Although Reece was not given the chance to play in his best position until the end of the tournament in December when he signed off with an unbeaten 80, he stood out with the ball and wants to carry that on in the one-day matches with Derbyshire this summer.
6. South Africa quicks set to arrive at The 3aaa County Ground
Fast bowlers Hardus Viljoen and Duanne Olivier are set to arrive in Derby this week ahead of the season opener against Middlesex, starting on Friday 20 April.
The quicks, who have both represented South Africa at the highest level, will look to spearhead the Derbyshire pace attack, which also includes fellow international bowler, Ravi Rampaul, as well as the experienced Tony Palladino and the promising Will Davis.
Olivier, who is available for the first four Specsavers County Championship matches and the group stage of the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, has taken 17 Test wickets in five matches, whilst Hardus Viljoen produced some of the best bowling seen in a Derbyshire shirt, returning match figures of 15-170 versus Sussex last summer.
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