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Welch: We learnt a lot in Abu Dhabi

GraemeWelchGraeme Welch says he has seen enough during Derbyshire’s pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi to make him excited about the Club’s prospects for the new campaign.

Derbyshire enjoyed a successful tour of the United Arab Emirates which saw comfortable one-day victories over Worcestershire and a narrow defeat to international outfit New Zealand.

The squad have now returned to Derby for the final stages of their preparation for the 2014 season and Elite Performance Director Welch says his players will be raring to go.

"I learned a lot about the players," Welch said on the squad’s return from Abu Dhabi. "We as a management team learned a lot about them. We discussed individuals a lot and they all just seem hungry and ready to go.

"The way the players batted, bowled and fielded in Abu Dhabi, you can see they want the season to come now.

"The Twenty20 against New Zealand and the two-dayer against Worcestershire took it out of them a bit but that's to be expected. The New Zealand game was high intensity and in the two-dayer you are spending 90 overs in the field but you've got to get used to that and we will.

Read more: Welch: We learnt a lot in Abu Dhabi

ECB praise for Derbyshire's coaching structure

ECBECB coaching boss Gordon Lord says under the new Elite Cricket Performance structure, Derbyshire can produce future England players.

The governing body’s Head of Elite Coach Development, who spearheaded a similar elite coaching model for the national team, believes the structure will also bring improved performances for Derbyshire on the field.

"I think there is a very real possibility that Derbyshire can produce future England players with the structure in place," Lord said.

"I think the system which has been put in place at Derbyshire is one that really suits the county.

"Coaching moving forward has been increasingly aware of the importance of getting very highly qualified and skilled coaches working at all stages of the player pathway.

Read more: ECB praise for Derbyshire's coaching structure

Derbyshire draw final fixture in Abu Dhabi

BenSlaterBen Slater and Paul Borrington both hit half-centuries as Derbyshire drew with Worcestershire in their final fixture in Abu Dhabi.

Slater (pictured) and Borrington shared a 58-run stand before both retired after reaching 50 on the final day of the two-day friendly against their LV= County Championship Division Two counterparts. 

A number of batsman gained valuable time in the middle, with Jonathan Clare (35 not out) and Richard Johnson (15 not out) sharing an unbeaten 41-run stand to end the day with Derbyshire 227-8. 

On a windy morning, and with partial sand storms covering the surrounding areas, Derbyshire struggled in the opening session falling to 75-3 at lunch taken after 26 overs.

Stephen Moore, making his first red-ball outing for Derbyshire since signing a two-year deal with the Club in December, started positively but was bowled by Andrew for 10.

Captain Wayne Madsen joined opener Borrington in the middle and together they added 43 in 18 overs to move Derbyshire onto 65-1. Madsen, however, was second man out, trapped lbw by Choudhry for 22.

Borrington and Slater regrouped and produced an unbeaten partnership worth 58 runs in 19 overs after lunch.

Read more: Derbyshire draw final fixture in Abu Dhabi

First-Class cricket and Sunday Lunch perhaps?

DerbyshireSupporters can enjoy a traditional Sunday Roast Dinner while watching top-class cricket at the 3aaa County Ground this summer.

As part of a new-look domestic calendar, Derbyshire will host six LV= County Championship fixtures commencing on a Sunday giving supporters the best chance to watch first-class cricket in 2014. 

After enjoying the opening session, supporters can treat themselves to a stunning traditional Sunday roast in the Jackson and Gladwin Suite in the Lund Pavilion - which will be open to all supporters at LV=CC matches this summer.

A delicious Roast Dinner will be on offer for ONLY £8.95 on Sunday at every home four-day fixture.

Read more: First-Class cricket and Sunday Lunch perhaps?

Derbyshire made to work hard in Abu Dhabi heat

DerbyshireInAbuDhabiDerbyshire bowlers endured a long but productive opening day of the two-day friendly against Worcestershire in Abu Dhabi.

On a very good batting track, Worcestershire won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat first.

Daryl Mitchell and Matthew Pardoe shared a 106-run opening stand in 37 overs, before Jonathan Clare found the breakthrough shortly after lunch.

Pardoe – who had hit six fours and one six – was clean bowled by Clare for 43 off 101 balls, but Worcestershire continued to tick the scoreboard over moving to tea without further loss.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore played nicely alongside his Captain - striking three sixes and five fours - to move onto 45 at the interval, while Mitchell was still there on 84 – which included nine fours.

Tony Palladino bowled economically throughout the day for Graeme Welch’s side, bowling 10 overs for just 15 runs at the break.

Read more: Derbyshire made to work hard in Abu Dhabi heat

VIDEO | Moore proud of New Zealand display

StephenMooreBatsman Stephen Moore says the squad should be very proud after pushing international outfit New Zealand all the way in Abu Dhabi today.  

Former Derbyshire man Martin Guptill starred with the bat for the Black Caps, adding 57 off 42 balls, as New Zealand posted 177-5 from their 20 overs. 

Graeme Welch’s side made a good start in reply with Wes Durston and Moore both adding 37 runs, but despite a defiant performance fell just 26 runs short. 

Moore was pleased with the intensity Derbyshire played at and believes on today’s evidence the squad has the potential to have a good NatWest T20 Blast campaign this summer.

“New Zealand are a very strong Twenty20 side and everyone in that Derbyshire dressing room can be proud today,” he said.

Read more: VIDEO | Moore proud of New Zealand display

Spirited Derbyshire make New Zealand sweat

AbuDhabiDerbyshire produced a spirited performance and pushed their international opponents all the way, but fell just short against New Zealand at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Former Derbyshire man Martin Guptill starred with the bat for the Black Caps, adding 57 off 42 balls, as New Zealand posted 177-5 from their 20 overs. 

Graeme Welch’s side made a good start in reply with Wes Durston and Stephen Moore both adding 37 runs against the international Twenty20 outfit, but despite a defiant performance fell just 26 runs short.

New Zealand made a solid start after winning the toss at the Zayed Stadium.

Guptill and Kane Williamson (32) shared a 68-run opening stand in 9.5 overs before David Wainwright (1-26 off four) found the breakthrough courtesy of a smart catch from Mark Footitt on the boundary.

Read more: Spirited Derbyshire make New Zealand sweat

VIDEO | Elstone looking forward to New Zealand test

ScottElstoneScott Elstone says the squad are looking forward to testing themselves against international outfit New Zealand in Abu Dhabi tomorrow; 10.30am start (UK time).

Elstone - who claimed four wickets and added 29 with the bat in the six-wicket win against Worcestershire on Tuesday – is expecting a tough contest but says the squad go into the fixture full of confidence.

“It’s a big game tomorrow,” he said. “I think all the boys are excited and it’s a massive opportunity to play against an international side. Everyone is looking forward to it.

“It will obviously be a tough challenge. We watched them against Worcestershire today and they showed why they are a top international team.

“But we go into the match full of confidence after making a good start to pre-season.

Read more: VIDEO | Elstone looking forward to New Zealand test

Derbyshire appoint Elite Performance Analyst

graemewelchGraeme Welch (pictured) says the appointment of the Clubs first ever Elite Cricket Performance Analyst is the final piece in his ambitious coaching jigsaw as Derbyshire push for success.

Nick Kesingland, who previously worked at fellow first-class county Essex, has been appointed as the Club’s new analyst and will join Welch's coaching set-up in time to prepare for the new LV= County Championship season.

As well as holding a Masters degree in Sport Performance Analysis from Cardiff Metropolitan University, Kesingland is a fully qualified ECB Level 2 Coach and will be working closely with the rest of the elite coaching team, analysing the squad’s performance while also studying opposing teams via video analysis and statistics.

Elite Performance Director Welch says Kesingland will be a valuable support to the coaches and will help get the most out of Derbyshire’s cricketers.

Read more: Derbyshire appoint Elite Performance Analyst

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