Billy Godleman says the Falcons are already looking forward to the start of the Vitality Blast campaign, and the Derbyshire captain is buoyed by the prospect of spectators returning in 2021.
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Having played every game on the road in 2020, as the club supported the return of international cricket amid the coronavirus pandemic, this year will be the first time that Derbyshire have played on home soil since 2019, a season in which they reached Finals Day.
Godleman says the Derbyshire squad were thankful just to be able to play last year, but the squad deeply missed the supporters that were unable to attend matches. The captain is hoping that his side will be able to feed off of the atmosphere, once it’s safe for fans to return.
“It’s really exciting now, with the Twenty20 fixtures out and the prospect of having our supporters back,” said Godleman.
“I know that everyone was delighted to get out there last year and just play some cricket, but we really did miss all of our Members and supporters, so hopefully, if it’s safe to do so, we can play in front of crowds again.
“We played all of our games away from home last year, which was done for all the right reasons, and we felt so fortunate to be playing anywhere, but to play in our own ground and conditions, in front of our own supporters, is something that we really missed last year and we’re all hoping we can do that this summer.”
The Falcons will face Notts Outlaws in the East Midlands Derby at The Incora County Ground on Friday 25 June, while Twenty20 action returns to Queen’s Park, Chesterfield, with the potentially pivotal final group game against Yorkshire Vikings on Sunday 18 July.
Godleman says Derbyshire are relishing the chance to host their local rivals again, and hopes that supporters will be there to cheer the side on.
“The Notts game is the one we all look for when the fixtures are published,” he added.
“It’s a local rivalry, which is played hard but fair, and we know how much it means to our Members, and the local community as a whole, to win those games, so we’re really looking forward to facing them in Derby again, hopefully with a crowd in.”
“The prospect of playing at Queen’s Park at any time is amazing, but if there’s something on that final group game against Yorkshire it will be really exciting to be involved with.
“It’s a chance to play in a different part of the county that we represent, and we are so well supported throughout Derbyshire. We all love playing at Queen’s Park.”
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