Derbyshire travel to Chelmsford on Sunday to begin their new LV= County Championship Division Two campaign against Essex.
It’s a ground the county last visited in 2012 when Derbyshire claimed their fourth victory of the campaign, their second successive inside three days, to move 26 points at the top of the table – and set the Club firmly on their way to the Division Two title.
Despite losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, Wayne Madsen’s side flourished in the first innings dismissing their hosts for 182 inside 80 overs on the opening day.
Tim Groenewald (2 for 26 off 16 overs) claimed an early breakthrough removing South Africa international Alviro Petersen, before David Wainwright took centre stage to blow away the Essex top and middle order.
The left-arm spinner finished with impressive figures of 5 for 51 off his 22.2 overs, including two in the same over, to put Derbyshire one the front foot after day one.
Wayne Madsen says the squad are determined to get the new four-day season off to a strong start against Essex at Chelmsford, commencing on Sunday.
The squad and coaching team returned to The 3aaa County Ground yesterday to begin preparations for the LV= County Championship opener after spending time away in the Peak District.
Madsen says it's important that Derbyshire make a good start to the new campaign as the county push for an immediate return to Division One.
“After speaking with Tom and the Poynton family, they are keen for us to turn our attention to Sunday’s fixture,” Captain Madsen said.
“We have spent Tuesday away from The 3aaa County Ground and decided to trek around the Peak District. We walked for about 13-14 km and I can ensure you it wasn’t flat. It was a good chance to switch off, relax and reflect on the last few days. The trip was exactly what we needed.
“After a while the conversation turned to the processes of moving forward together and getting in the right frame of mind for the match against Essex.
Graeme Welch says the players are ready to start preparations for this Sunday’s LV= County Championship opener against Essex at Chelmsford.
The squad and coaching team spent time away from The 3aaa County Ground yesterday, trekking in Derbyshire’s Peak District before spending the night in traditional bunk barn accommodation at the Royal Oak at Hurdlow.
“It’s been an emotional time for everyone at Derbyshire,” Elite Performance Director Welch said. “This is such a close-knit club and everybody knows each other, so this has really affected us all.
“We decided to get away yesterday and spend time together as a team away from cricket. It gave us a chance to talk to one another and allowed us the time to get in the right frame of mind for Sunday.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that Derbyshire’s rearranged LV= County Championship fixture versus Leicestershire will take place between Sunday 8 and Wednesday 11 June, 2014 at Grace Road.
The original fixture, due to start on Sunday 6 April, was postponed after Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton was involved in a serious road traffic accident in which tragically Tom's father, Keith, was killed.
Tom sustained injuries to his lower limbs and, following his discharge from hospital, his rehabilitation is currently being supported at home by the Club Doctor and Club Physiotherapist. Depending on progress over the next couple of days, Tom may be able to undergo his first rehabilitation session back at The 3aaa County Ground towards the end of this week.
Derbyshire CCC Chief Executive Simon Storey said: "I would like once again to thank Leicestershire CCC and the ECB for their support and cooperation as we have worked through the revised schedule and plans for the rearranged fixture at Grace Road.
“With the full support of the Poynton family, we are moving forward as a Club towards the new season.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club Statement
In response to media speculation around the circumstances of Friday's tragic car accident, the Club has sought permission from the police to confirm that the car involved in the fatal accident was fully insured and being driven with the full permission of the owner; long-term friend of the Poynton family and Chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Chris Grant.
Out of respect for the family, the Club would ask that they are now allowed to focus on supporting Tom and his family through this difficult period following the loss of Keith.
Meanwhile, the coaching staff are helping the squad come to terms with their friend's loss of his dad, whilst also preparing them for the match versus Essex which commences on Sunday.
Chief Executive, Simon Storey, said “We are a close-knit, family Club and we share the good times and the bad times together. Whether it is promotion or relegation on the field or a marriage or birthday off the field, there is something very special about a club like Derbyshire.
Following the tragic events of Friday evening, the Club can confirm that Tom Poynton has been discharged from hospital and is now at home with his family.
He is being supported by the Club Doctor and Club Physiotherapist who are treating the injuries sustained to his lower limbs in the accident. Further investigations will be undertaken by the Club’s medical team tomorrow to ensure everything is in place to support Tom's rehabilitation.
The Poynton family would like to formally extend their deep gratitude for the words of tribute and support that have been extended to them in the last 24 hours.
They are also sincerely grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board and Leicestershire CCC for supporting the decision to postpone the opening LV= County Championship game, due to take place today at Grace Road.
Derbyshire CCC Chief Executive Simon Storey added: "We are relieved that Tom is now at home with his family and friends.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club Statement: Match Postponement
Yesterday evening, Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton was involved in a serious road traffic accident in which tragically, Tom's father, Keith, was killed.
Tom was taken to hospital by ambulance where he was admitted and retained overnight with a suspected fracture and other associated injuries.
Everyone at the Club are deeply distressed and concerned for Tom and his family.
In consultation with the ECB and Leicestershire CCC, the decision has been taken to postpone the LV= County Championship Division Two game which was due to start tomorrow at Grace Road.
The fixture has been provisionally rescheduled to take place on Sunday 8 June to Wednesday 11 June.
Derbyshire have moved swiftly to complete the signing of prolific former Aussie international batsman Marcus North as their second overseas player for the 2014 season.
North was recently crowned Player of the Season in the Australian Sheffield Shield after topping the run-scoring charts with 884, at an average of 68, including three centuries.
He then announced his retirement from first-class cricket down under, bringing to an end a sparkling 17 year career with Western Australia.
North will add international experience to the batting line-up in all formats of the game during Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s periods of unavailability, with a West Indies Test series versus New Zealand scheduled for June and versus Bangladesh in September.
The stylish Australian batsman played 21 Tests for the Baggy Greens scoring 1,171 runs and compiling five centuries.
A record-breaking 2,200 cricket clubs nationwide have registered for this weekend’s NatWest CricketForce event.
The three day event, which will see facilities rejuvenated and prepared across the country for the forthcoming cricket season, will see tens of thousands of club members and volunteers coming together to clean, tidy, repair and revitalise clubhouses and cricket grounds.
Derbyshire cricket clubs have really got behind the initiative with a staggering 90 clubs registered to take part.
It is anticipated that between two and three thousand volunteers will be involved at clubs over the weekend and the Derbyshire Cricket Board is providing some additional support by working with a small number of clubs to help them make the most of the event.
Wirksworth & Middleton Cricket Club has been selected as Derbyshire’s showcase club for 2014 as they continue to rebuild after their wooden pavilion at their Middleton ground completely destroyed by a fire last July.
The club has been working tirelessly since the fire to ensure that cricket could be played on the ground in 2014 thanks to support from club sponsor Tapton Estates, the generosity of a local farmer and a grant from the ECB.
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