Dave Houghton believes that loan-signing Darren Stevens will complement Derbyshire’s current squad well during this summer’s Vitality Blast.
The experienced all-rounder has joined the club from Kent for the duration of the Twenty20 competition, having been a regular in their Specsavers County Championship side throughout the season so far.
Stevens has won the competition twice in his career and Head of Cricket, Houghton, is excited to see what he can bring to the Derbyshire Twenty20 side.
“It’s a big signing for us. We were unlucky that we couldn’t replace the two overseas bowlers we had, so to be able to get someone like Darren on loan from Kent is brilliant for us,” said Houghton.
“He fits in with exactly with what we have as a team, what we want as a team and the type of wickets we play on. He’s someone who can take the new ball up front and bowl in those first six overs and someone who can smack the ball at the end of an innings and win us a game.
“He’s evergreen to me and he’s got two five-fors in his last two Championship games and he’s got runs as well, so he comes to us in great form. He’s a good guy and it will be great to have his experience in our changing room.”
Houghton came up against Stevens when he was batting coach at Middlesex who play against Kent in the South Group of the Blast.
He admits that he would rather have the all-rounder on his team that lining up against him in the Vitality Blast, and hopes his experience can be passed on to Derbyshire’s younger players.
“He is a very experienced campaigner and I know from being in the southern section, as I have been for the last four years,” added Houghton.
“When you were playing against Kent the one person you didn’t want to see was Darren Stevens.
“Everybody respects his cricket abilities, particularly in the white-ball format around the country and to have that experience to help our youngsters grow in the game with the knowledge he will give us and to have it on the field to help Billy [Godleman] in his captaincy role, I think we’ve done really well and I can’t wait for him to join us.”
Vitality Blast is back this month! Tickets for all seven home matches on sale now, including the big clash against Notts Outlaws on Friday 26 July. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.