Dave Houghton has confirmed that Billy Stanlake has arrived in Derbyshire, and will be available to play in the LV= County Championship fixture against Essex, beginning on Thursday 13 May.
The Australia international, whose arrival was delayed by commitments with Queensland, has joined the club for all formats and had hoped to play in this weeks fixture against Nottinghamshire, but Covid-19 regulations means he must isolate beyond the start of that game.
Having bowled regularly in this year’s Marsh Cup, match sharpness is not a concern for the coaching team, and the fast bowler may yet get an early taste of the English game with the Second XI against Warwickshire at The Incora County Ground in early May.
Houghton is pleased to welcome Derbyshire’s latest recruit into the fold and is looking forward to integrating Stanlake into the group.
“Billy arrived early on Sunday morning and is now in his accommodation in Derby,” he said.
“We originally thought he would be available for the Nottinghamshire game, because he’s come from a secure bubble. However, first-class county cricket has not been given elite sport exemption with regards to quarantine rules and we believe if he was playing Twenty20 tomorrow, he would be eligible, but because it’s four-day cricket, he has to quarantine for five days, which will go beyond the start of Thursday’s game. We’ll have him ready to play in the away game against Essex.
“In terms of bowling loads, he’s ready to go. He’s been bowling all season for Queensland and in the Big Bash, he doesn’t need any time to get into rhythm, but he has a bit more time now to get to know us and train with the squad.
“He may want to play a couple of days in the Second XI game against Warwickshire in Derby, to get a feel for our pitches and the Incora County Ground, but we will wait and see.”
While Stanlake’s exposure to red ball cricket has been limited to eight games, the 26-year-old has expressed a desire to play more first-class games and show what he can do in the longer format.
Houghton wants the bowler to make the most of his opportunity with Derbyshire, across all formats, and believes the younger players within the squad can learn a lot from playing with an international-calibre pace bowler.
“Billy is keen to get into the Queensland four-day side, and potentially make a push for the Australia Test side,” he added.
“He has a point to prove, and he has the opportunity to do that with us, but he’s a bowler who has played at the highest level, and for our young attack to have a leader with that experience to learn from, it can only benefit them.
“He will compliment what we have already in our side, and I know the boys are really looking forward to playing alongside Billy.”
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