To all Members, supporters, players and staff at Derbyshire County Cricket Club,
I hope you are all keeping safe and well and are looking forward to Derbyshire returning to competitive cricket this weekend.
I wish I could be there to enjoy the English summer, but like you I am having to follow the club’s progress from a distance while the coronavirus pandemic prevents me from travelling to the UK.
When I was asked by the club if I would take on the role of Club President in 2020, I leapt at the chance. I had 12 happy seasons at Derbyshire and the place is like a second home to me. It’s my first winter back in New Zealand for seven years and I have never missed and English summer so much! When the sun’s out in Derbyshire and you can get the whites on and get out to the middle, there are few better places to play cricket.
We at Derbyshire are a passionate and friendly club and it typifies what is great about English county cricket. Last season we reached T20 Finals Day for the first time in 17 years and it was pleasing to see our Members and supporters with the opportunity to travel to a major final event for the first time in so long.
The club is moving in the right direction and I believe we’re cutting our cloth now and can hopefully regularly challenge for silverware in the coming seasons. The coaches, with Dave [Houghton] as Head of Cricket, are building a squad of committed and hungry players. You can’t coach desire and I always thought it’s a privilege to earn a living out of playing a sport you love. For me personally, playing for Derbyshire was special.
Last week I was delighted to see young Matt Critchley and Sam Conners sign new contracts. I worked with Matt when I was T20 coach and he’s a special talent. Similarly, I saw Sam bowl with great skill in the Academy and to see his progression into the first team is fantastic.
To the players, I will be following your progress throughout the Bob Willis Trophy, into the night here in New Zealand, and I wish you the best of success.
And to our Members and supporters, thank you for your continued support of Derbyshire over many years. You always made me feel welcome at your club, which is something I have never forgotten, and I know that friendly atmosphere among supporters continues today.
I hope to be able to join you all in the not too distant future and I look forward to being back watching Derbyshire as soon as it’s safe to do so. Thank you all for your support.
With very best wishes,