It may only have been three weeks since he underwent shoulder surgery, but Chesney Hughes is already looking ahead to a successful 2014 season with Derbyshire.
The powerful opening batsman is, like the rest of the squad, due back in Derby on Monday to begin his off-season rehabilitation programme ahead of the new campaign, scheduled to begin at the start of April.
The 22-year-old will spend the majority of the winter with Club Physiotherapist James Pipe and Strength and Conditioning Coach Jamie Tallent as he attempts to get back to full strength for the start of the season.
And Hughes is hoping he can have a positive impact on both the four-day and limited overs sides in 2014 as the Club push for an immediate return to Division One and their first knockout berth since 2005.
“I think we improved a lot coming towards the end of last season and we want to take that kind of momentum through to next year,” he said.
“I think we understand that we are capable of winning Division Two again so we will go out and try and do that from ball one.
“Another plan for next year will be to make it to the knockout stages in a one-day competition. We played good one-day cricket in patches in 2013.
“Last season we had a good start to the Twenty20 campaign and there were a couple of games we lost that we should have won. Next year I think we will definitely aim high and hopefully get to the quarter-finals.
“In the one-day competition, meanwhile, we just want to keep improving and play good cricket which I am sure we will.”
Hughes enjoyed a successful one-day campaign at the top of the Falcons’ batting line-up in 2013, scoring 345 runs in the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition at 34.50. He also forged his spot at the top of the four-day side hitting 636 first-class runs including a career-best unbeaten 270 against Yorkshire in April.
“I just want to make sure I bat at the top of the innings and do my job,” the Anguilla-born batsman added.
“Whether it’s in one-day cricket getting us off to a good start or in the Championship laying the foundations for a big total - I just want to make sure I am the opener in all formats.
“I have also got a few targets in mind for next season, but I just want to do well and score runs.
“I had periods last season where it went well, but then there were times when it didn’t go as well so I just want to keep on improving.
“I just want to get that consistency. I’m capable of getting big scores but I also tend to get low scores in between. Hopefully the consistency will come with experience and hard work this winter.
“I also want to have an impact with the ball. In one-day cricket, if I can bowl as the fifth or sixth bowler it will help to balance the side. Hopefully this can have a positive affect and help us as we look to reach the quarter-final stages.”
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