Dave Houghton believes the 2021 first-class structure will give Derbyshire’s squad the best chance to develop their skills and compete in the format.
An impressive Bob Willis Trophy campaign saw Derbyshire finish second in the North Group, racking up the joint-most points (74) for any Division Two side.
Last week, it was announced that a minimum of 14 first-class matches will be played by each side in next season’s County Championship, the first ten of which will come in the group stage.
The top two counties in each group, at the end of the group stage, will progress to Division One, with the other counties moving into Divisions Two and Three, where they will each play a further four matches.
Derbyshire have been placed in Group One, alongside local rivals Nottinghamshire and defending champions Essex, as well as Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Durham.
Having seen how Derbyshire performed against tough opposition in the Bob Willis Trophy, Houghton believes that a full first-class schedule will benefit the squad.
“We’re delighted with the structure for next season,” said Houghton.
“We were pleased just to be able to play some first-class cricket this year, but I think we showed real promise in the format and gave ourselves something to build on in 2021.
“There will always be something to play for next season, at every stage of the competition, and that can only be good for our squad, especially the younger lads who will benefit from so much cricket.
“We have a small squad, and the opportunity to play against top sides, including Essex, the champions over the last couple of years, is a great incentive to us all.
“We have so much ability in the squad, and if we’re at our best throughout then who knows what can happen? Everybody will be starting on equal ground, and we already proved this season that we can cause anyone problems.”
2021 County Championship Groups:
Group 1: Essex, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire, Durham
Group 2: Somerset, Hampshire, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Middlesex, Leicestershire
Group 3: Kent, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan, Sussex
The latest Derbyshire County Cricket Club news straight to your inbox. Register for our mailing list today. Click HERE to sign-up.