Mal Loye is hoping the switch to four-day matches will help Second XI players prepare to play first-class cricket.
All Second XI Championship fixtures will be played across four days, as opposed to the previous three-day format, while the team will also play in a T20 competition throughout May and June.
Assistant Coach and Batting Lead, Loye, says that playing four-day matches will better prepare players for the transition into first-class cricket.
“I think it’s a natural progression. If you are a batsman, you can prepare to bat for longer and as a bowler, you can bowl longer spells,” said Loye.
“Obviously, you have to mirror the pitch conditions of first-class cricket, and that is something that we will communicate to the clubs that we are playing at.”
The Second XI will once give players the chance to impress while on trial with Derbyshire, something which Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Dustin Melton did last season, earning first-team contracts after time with the team.
Academy players will also be given the chance to perform and develop within the side, but Loye says their involvement will need to be managed carefully.
“We’ve got a small squad, so we have always had a number of trialists playing for us,” he added.
“We have a very young Academy, and we have recognised certain individuals that could play Second XI cricket, even at 13 or 14.
“But it’s also about communicating with the opposition, because there’s no point having a 14-year-old facing a fully-fledged county attack.
“We would love to just throw Academy players in, but when we play teams that have bigger squads, like Lancashire and Warwickshire, we will have to be very careful with that.”
Three Second XI matches will be played at The Pattonair County Ground this season, something which Loye believes will benefit the players who feature.
“There’s no substitute to playing in a stadium or a ground, so that transition when you make it into the first team, it’s not so intimidating.
“They are generally very good pitches, they have a bit more pace and bounce and that mirrors what first-class cricket is like.”
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