Luis Reece believes Derbyshire new additions on and off the field will help their chances of success in the Vitality Blast.
In recent months, the club have announced the signing of Australia international Ben McDermott for the Vitality Blast and Royal London Cup, while former England fast bower Ajmal Shahzad has joined the club as Assistant Coach (Bowling Lead).
Having made Finals Day for the first time in 2019, the Falcons struggled in 2020 and were unable to progress past the group stage, something the squad is eager to improve upon this year.
All-rounder, Reece, is sure that McDermott will fit into an already strong batting lineup easily, and is looking forward to seeing how the competition for places benefits the team in their pursuit of Twenty20 success.
“I can’t wait to see Ben McDermott, he had a great Big Bash,” said Reece.
“His ball striking skills are up there with the best in the world and to have someone of his quality coming over is great. I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes about his business.
“Hopefully we can learn a bit from Ben by playing alongside him and, hopefully, he can give us some of that quality that we missed at times last season. We are lucky at Derbyshire, we have a good batting lineup and bat all the way down, but having another top batsman can only drive us forward, because everyone is fighting for their place.”
In last year’s Vitality Blast, Reece led a promising bowling attack, many of whom were getting their first taste of Twenty20 cricket for the club.
Despite a testing campaign, the likes of Sam Conners, Michael Cohen, Dustin Melton and Mattie McKiernan all picked up wickets and continued to develop in the format.
Having gained some experience last year, Reece believes the players will be hungry to show improvement in 2021, and the all-rounder is excited to see how they learn and grow under the tutelage of Shahzad.
“We’ve got a great squad, we might be young but all of the lads work extremely hard,” he added.
“The younger lads are always trying to learn and if I can help them along the way, that’s great. All of the lads have played a good amount of cricket now and they have a bit of experience, so having Ajmal come in is brilliant, I played alongside him at Lancashire a bit and he’s very passionate and knowledgeable.
“He played at the top level and he will be valuable with the white ball skills that he can impart on our boys, hopefully they can learn quickly and we will keep improving day by day to be in a good place for the Vitality Blast.
“There’s a score to settle after last year, all of the lads were bitterly disappointed and there’s no better way of putting that right than winning the first couple of games and getting our confidence up.”
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