Derbyshire all-rounder, Anuj Dal, discussed his decision to extend his stay at Derbyshire for the next three seasons, what the Club means to him and also his ambitions and aims over the next few years.
With Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur, having already brought five new players in ahead of the 2024 campaign, Dal feels like it’s a perfect time to be a player at Derbyshire: “Having seen some of the signings that have been made over the past couple of months, it’s a very exciting time to be here.
“Derbyshire gave me my first opportunity to play professional cricket and I wanted to remain loyal to this,” he said.
“The Club have been so welcoming over the past six years and I want to repay that back to Derbyshire and also to the supporters, it was a no brainer for me to stay.
“The Club have been fantastic in how they handled all the dealings, Arthur and Ryan Duckett in particular, and they made it a very easy decision to stay here.”
The all-rounder placed emphasis on the impact Mickey Arthur has had to his personal development by outlining what he expected of Dal right from the get-go.
“It’s been one of the reasons why the past couple of years have gone how they have,” Dal added.
“Mickey’s addition to the side and his recruitment gave me clarity and a purpose in the side, especially in the red ball format.
“He gave me an opportunity to forge myself into a position at number seven, and also what my role with the ball in the side was, which was something I was craving. I wanted to contribute in all facets and that gave me a real chance to do so.
“Mickey was providing this clarity right from our first chat together, it was really nice to get this backing and play regularly. If it weren’t for this, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.
“I’ve got a massive amount of gratitude for Mickey, on a personal level but also how he’s spoken with the squad and looked to push us forward as a collective. I’m really looking forward to continuing working with him over the next three seasons.”
Dal reflected on what was a tough season for the group in 2022, especially in red ball cricket. Although every player takes personal accountability, the all-rounder highlighted the problem the side encountered with the ball in hand, which wasn’t helped by the injuries to two key personnel early in the season.
“You look at that squad and the players we’ve got, we had such a fantastic season in 2022, and the squad were really excited to build on that and move forward. Entering this season difficulties can happen, such as losing Suranga Lakmal and Ben Aitchison early in the season due to injuries.
“One of the hardest things in championship cricket is taking 20 wickets, and sometimes you’ll get into a fantastic position, like we did on numerous occasions this season entering Day Four. We just couldn’t get sides all out on the last day and that really made things quite challenging.
“I’m a big believer in winning becomes a habit, mentality and mindset.
“Once you get those couple of wins under your belt, it’s quite easy to see as a team what is required to keep on winning, unfortunately we were unable to do that this year.
“I’ve got no doubt however that with some powerhouses coming in such as Mohammad Amir, we’ve got some really good signings that will add real impetus to us for next year.
“Mickey has been big on his recruitment in terms of bringing guys in who have got previous experience of winning trophies and performing in crucial matches. We’ve now got Samit Patel who has international expertise, but he’s also played on numerous franchise stages. That kind of experience is invaluable and will be a massive shift for us next year.
“If you then add David Lloyd, Pat Brown and Aneurin Donald to the mix, these guys can be massive in terms of what they can add to the squad in both red and white ball formats.”
Moving forward, Dal is excited to see what the next few years could bring, as the squad has been shaped the way Mickey Arthur wants. Although the all-rounder is only 27-years-old, he is one of the more experienced players amongst the current group and has been a mainstay in the side over the last couple of seasons.
“One of the biggest things Mickey was trying to do was create a core group of guys the squad is centred around. It’s great to be considered as one of those foundation players and I think it is important you have a bulk that form the side, and then those superstars come in and around the core.
“We’ve seen that this year with Mads and Reecey doing what they do, and Guesty again contributing brilliantly. It’s great to see guys having good years again and backing up what they’ve done before.
“You’ve often got guys going under the radar doing brilliant things and that’s what we’re all about really as a Club. If we can have the core performing and consistently doing well, the new additions adding their value, it’s going to be a real clincher for us as a squad to add that little bit extra to where we’ve been previously.
“I know the next few years as a group are going to be really exciting with a lot of good things and moments to come.”
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