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 this month, 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. 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.
2. Weather washes out two pre-season fixtures
Two pre-season friendlies scheduled to take place at The 3aaa County Ground this weekend have been cancelled due to recent poor weather.
The back-to-back one-day fixtures against a Derbyshire County Cricket League XI on Saturday 7 April, followed by the visit of a North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Select XI the following day have both been cancelled.
Heavy rain, followed by snow, have left areas of the outfield unfit for play.
Derbyshire hope the scheduled three-day Second XI fixture versus Warwickshire, starting on Monday 9 April, will still go ahead, weather permitting. Both Clubs are expected to field strong sides.
3. Critchley returns to Derbyshire
All-rounder Matt Critchley is back training with the Derbyshire squad after a busy winter saw him represent England Lions and team North in the North-South series.
The 21-year-old caught the eye of England Lions after impressing on his ECB Overseas Placement in Sydney. Joining up with the Lions ahead of their three-match one-day series with West Indies A, Critchley bowled economically and contributed runs in the 2-1 series defeat.
He remained in Barbados and joined up with the North team in the North-South series, making an instant impact in his first appearance, crashing 64 runs off just 37 balls, including four fours and four sixes. He was also intrumental in the decider, hitting an unbeaten 25 and taking 2-46 as the North fought back from one down to win the series 2-1.
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. 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. Edwin Smith named Derbyshire President
Derbyshire legend, Edwin Smith, has been appointed Club President at the Club’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 28 March.
The off-break bowler played his entire first-class career at Derbyshire, from 1951 to 1971, playing 503 matches and taking 1,217 wickets – the sixth most ever in the Club’s history.
He finished his career with a bowling average of 26, with 51 five-wicket hauls and best figures of 9-46. He also scored just under 7,000 first-class runs for the county, with a top score of 90.
Price freeze for 2018. Club Membership will once again offer one great value price for all in 2018. Join today for only £159 and don’t miss a moment of the action this summer.