Derbyshire have named a 12-man squad for their opening Royal London Cup fixture against Leicestershire at the Uptonsteel County Ground.
Captain Billy Godleman returns to lead the squad and he will anchor a youthful batting lineup, with Brooke Guest and Harry Came looking to make their mark on the 50-over competition.
New signing Connor Marshall is included in the squad, alongside fellow all-rounder Nils Priestley. They will be able to call on the experience of Harvey Hosein and Fynn Hudson-Prentice.
Ravi Rampaul will lead the bowling attack, with the experienced quick one dismissal away from his 300th List A wicket. Conversely, Ben Aitchison and George Scrimshaw could be in line for their Derbyshire debuts in the format.
Alex Hughes is edging closer to a return to action, but he will not feature in this fixture, while the injured Dustin Melton, Sam Conners and Nick Potts remain sidelined. Anuj Dal is back from a broken finger, while Tom Wood and Alex Thomson are unavailable for selection.
1. Billy Godleman
4. Harry Came
29. Brooke Guest
16. Harvey Hosein
65. Anuj Dal
33. Fynn Hudson-Prentice
53. Nils Priestley
5. Connor Marshall
21. Mattie McKiernan
14. Ravi Rampaul
11. Ben Aitchison
9. George Scrimshaw
This game will be Derbyshire’s 1,009th in List A cricket, a format which has encompassed 65, 60, 55, 50, 45 and 40 over cricket since 1963, and which is now seemingly settled on a worldwide basis at 50 overs per side.
Derbyshire first encountered Leicestershire in a 40-over match at Leicester when the home side won by six runs in the fledgling Player’s County League in 1969 (The John Player League would become the name of the competition from 1970).
The sides have met in 60 scheduled List A matches of which one was abandoned without a ball being bowled and four also succumbed to the weather with a ‘No Result’ outcome; meanwhile, Derbyshire have won 27 matches and Leicestershire 28.
Despite winning only seven of their first 24 clashes, Derbyshire put together a splendid winning run of eight matches between 1987 and 1992 and have also won five of their last seven fixtures with just one defeat and a No Result.
Dave Houghton says Derbyshire will go into the Royal London Cup with the intention of challenging for the trophy, and the Head of Cricket believes having larger crowds back at home games will play a huge part.
Houghton’s side has been depleted by the loss of Matt Critchley, Luis Reece and Leus du Plooy to The Hundred, and Wayne Madsen to long-term injury, but captain Billy Godleman will return for the opening 50-over game against Leicestershire, while it’s hoped all-rounder Alex Hughes will return from a side injury to play later in the group stage.
Experienced West Indies quick Ravi Rampaul will lead a developing attack during the Royal London Cup, with the likes of George Scrimshaw, Michael Cohen and Ben Aitchison likely to be key.
Houghton is excited to see how the team performs in the competition, and says the fact that all teams are without some first-team regulars means there is no clear favourite for the crown.
“Every team in the country is going to be missing front line players, but that gives a lot of players the opportunity to have a run in the side and impress,” he said.
“I would give us as much of a chance as anyone, I think it’s a real lottery to predict who will win this competition. We start the tournament on a level playing field with every team. It’s a big tournament for us coming up and we’re really looking forward to it.
“It will be great to have Ravi back, he’s a fantastic bowler in the limited overs formats, and he will add real experience and lead our ever-improving young bowling attack.”
How to follow
Derbyshire’s Royal London Cup fixture against Leicestershire will be Live Streamed on the club website, using the hosts’ feed, through our improved Match Centre, delivered in partnership with Purpose Media.
The Match Centre also includes in-play scorecards, ball by ball commentary, clips and statistics, everything you need to stay up-to-date, no matter where you’re following from!