As Scotland international, Mark Watt prepares to join Derbyshire for his second spell at the Club, we take a closer look at our returning spinner.
Fresh off the back of a successful ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign in October and November 2021, Watt will join Derbyshire for the 2022 Vitality Blast.
Watt, 25, has gained a reputation for being an extremely reliable and economical bowler in T20 cricket. He has become a staple in the Scotland side and is often entrusted with the death overs due to his tight line and ability to bowl yorkers.
His left arm finger-spin is a great asset to Scotland, Watt has played a total of 80 times since making his international debut against Ireland in 2015. In T20I’s, his economy rate is 6.79, in ODI’s it is just four.
Mark’s best figures on the international stage came against the Netherlands in 2016 where his 5-27 helped Scotland to a 37-run victory in the UAE.
During the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Martin Guptill described New Zealand’s struggle against Watt, “He wasn’t trying to turn the ball necessarily, or anything like that.
“He’s just bowling good lines and lengths, getting inside our arcs so that we couldn’t really take him down. He bowled very well, and it was just a matter of trying to get through it.”
In the game against New Zealand, Watt went for only 13 from four overs. He also picked up the wicket of Devon Conway in his spell.
Born in Edinburgh, Watt believes that his home ground, the Grange, helped him hone his craft and become such an economical bowler.
Speaking during the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Watt described his home ground as, “a small round, fast outfield, and a good wicket. If you can bowl spin there, you can bowl pretty much anywhere. You need to think about different variations to keep the batter guessing when it’s only finger-spin”.
When speaking to Wisden’s podcast in 2021, Watt described his approach to T20 cricket, “It’s about trying to keep the batter guessing, trying to keep them watching you all the time, and finding any sort of advantage you can get. White-ball cricket for a finger-spinner is tough”.
“It might be a bit cheeky bowling from 25, 26 yards – but if it gets me a dot ball in T20 cricket, I’m going to try and keep doing it.
“Everyone in the nets tries to hit it to the moon so I was a bit scared bowling it in games, but it seems to work: the batter is looking down at his toes, then looks up and the ball is halfway through its flight.”
Watt’s tactic of bowling from slightly behind the crease has proved very effective in T20 cricket all over the world.
Watt previously had a spell with Derbyshire in 2019. The highlight of his time here was the opening game of the 2019 Vitality Blast against Yorkshire at Queens Park, Chesterfield.
His four wickets for 19 runs was enough to give Derbyshire a five-wicket win to get their Blast campaign off to a flying start, he will hope to have a similar impact this year.
We’re looking forward to welcoming supporters back to The Incora County Ground next summer and our Blast Pass will put you at the heart of the action.
Buying a Vitality Blast pass for 2022 now will secure your place at every home group game next summer. You will be able to see every ball as the most explosive form of cricket returns to Derbyshire in 2022 for just £89, a saving of over 30%.
With a formidable top-order, backed up by an exciting crop of bowlers, the Falcons are ready to go again in 2022.