Twenty20 Head Coach Dominic Cork is relishing Derbyshire’s underdog label and is ready for the challenge ahead of leading the team in this summer’s Vitality Blast.
The former all-rounder also recognised the progression that the club has made over recent seasons and is confident that Derbyshire can defy the odds in 2019.
The Falcons begin their twenty-over campaign on Saturday 20 July against Yorkshire Vikings at Chesterfield’s Queen’s Park, and Cork is hoping Derbyshire can stay under the radar this summer.
“Let’s face it, we are always going to be written off whatever competition we play in,” said Cork.
“People will look at Derbyshire and say they’ve got no chance in the second division, no chance in the 50-overs and no chance in Twenty20.
“In some ways, it’s a good thing to be undervalued. Derbyshire have become a lot more competitive over the last few seasons.
“I see that in the way they are playing but there’s been certain stumbling blocks over a number of years where the side have got themselves into a position and then haven’t finished it off.
“In four-day cricket, having two exceptional days and then having a bad session and all of a sudden they are behind the eight-ball.
“But I think Derbyshire are in good stead. They’re up against some big squads, some talented squads but ultimately, we like to stay under the radar.
“I did that throughout my whole career when I played here. Everybody laughed at Derbyshire. They hated the ground, they thought it was boring, it was cold.
“The changing rooms were horrible, the food was horrible. You know, so what? Come and play cricket here and see if you can beat us.”
Following two years as Twenty20 Specialist Bowling Coach, Cork is enjoying the opportunity to be back amongst the Derbyshire squad.
“I’ve enjoyed it so much being around players again and the atmosphere,” he said.
“But it’s down to results, the same as a player. Nothing changes. If things don’t go well, people will ask whether I’m the right man.
“If people were consistent and producing, other counties would be looking at them.
“It’s about trying to get the most out of that individual and trying to push them on a bit further.
“There are some talented guys at this club who, perhaps through being in a comfort zone of being at Derbyshire, coming from other counties, maybe they think it’s alright to be just okay.
“What we want is for them to be better than okay. We need them to be pushed on more and to work at their games and they are doing that.
“Sides win competitions by playing well as a squad. It’s not about one individual.
“It’s about the squad getting the side through and that’s what we need more of in all formats.
“It’s frustrating to lose any players, but it’s what players do. I left here and went to Lancashire and ended up at Hampshire.
“That’s what you do, move on to a bigger club to try and push your game on. It’s not just Derbyshire, a lot of the other counties lose players as well.
“It’s always going to happen, it happens in all sport. We just have to adapt and try and fill the places of the guys who leave.
“I just want the club and the players to succeed. Not for myself, for them.
“If I can be a part of some success, that’s great. It’s down to the group of guys to work hard to upset the odds.”
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