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Why Mitchell Johnson is full of confidence | By Tony Palladino

TonyPalladinoIn his latest offering for the Cricketer Magazine, Tony Palladino looks at how players like Mitchell Johnson go about regaining lost confidence.

After watching the demolition job done on England this week by a rampant Australian team, this series has all the makings of a classic. England are too good a side to play so badly again and let’s not forget they did have the Aussies struggling at 132 for 6 on the first day. Hopefully they will come out fighting. 

What struck me most was the aggression of the Australian bowlers: they ran in hard, whacked the ball in and bowled quickly. The standout was Mitchell Johnson; he bowled like a man possessed all game and watching him steam in and bowl at that sustained high pace was incredible but also slightly worrying. Johnson in this kind of form is a massive problem for England.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the Australians needed to come together and become a team in order to win this series and they’ve certainly done that. The celebrations when the last wicket fell – not to mention the barrage of abuse Jimmy Anderson copped – shows that they mean business and they don’t care who they upset in the process. So where did this new-found confidence come from?

Read more: Why Mitchell Johnson is full of confidence | By Tony Palladino

Madsen pleased with Derbyshire fixtures

WayneMadsenCaptain Wayne Madsen believes Friday night fixtures in the new NatWest T20 Blast competition will create an exciting spectacle in 2014.

The County Ground, Derby, will stage four Friday night Twenty20 fixtures next summer, including the East Midlands derby against Nottinghamshire Outlaws on Friday 6th June.

As part of an action-packed season, Derbyshire will also host a three-day tour match against world number two Test side India on Tuesday 1st July in MS Dhoni’s men’s final warm-up ahead of the Investec Test series with England.   

This will be followed a week later by the Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, as the picturesque Queen’s Park will once again provide the perfect backdrop to two Twenty20s – against Yorkshire Vikings and Leicestershire Foxes – and a LV= County Championship clash with Essex.

The Club’s Player of the Year Madsen is already looking forward to the new campaign and hopes his side can get off to a good start with the trip to Leicestershire on the opening day of the season.

Read more: Madsen pleased with Derbyshire fixtures

Breakdown of new-look domestic county calendar

2014CompetitionsCounty cricket set for blast-off in 2014 with a new schedule, new start times and a brand new name for the domestic T20 competition.

ECB today announced the new County fixture schedule for 2014 which will include regular Friday and Sunday start dates for the T20 and four-day competitions respectively, the advent of the new Royal London One-Day Cup and a new name and sponsor for the domestic T20 competition – the NatWest T20 Blast.

Next year’s fixtures will be the first to be played under a new schedule which will run until 2017 and has been introduced based on the recommendations of the Morgan Review into the domestic game and extensive customer feedback from more than 25,000 county cricket fans.

ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: “This schedule has been designed to make the needs of the fans our number one priority.

Read more: Breakdown of new-look domestic county calendar

New county schedule from 2014

2014FixturesThe 2014 County fixture list will reveal a shake-up in the format of the domestic cricket calendar.

From next season, LV= County Championship fixtures will begin predominately on a Sunday, while the new-look Domestic Twenty20 competition will be held largely on Friday nights throughout the entire summer.

The structure of the four-day tournament will remain the same, with Derbyshire beginning life back in Division Two as they aim for an immediate return to the top-tier.

The Twenty20 competition, however, has been rebranded, with new game-wide sponsors NatWest on board, and Derbyshire will find themselves in a group of nine from next year.

The extended group will consist of the same five teams from 2013 - Nottinghamshire Outlaws, Lancashire Lightning, Yorkshire Vikings, Leicestershire Foxes and Durham Dynamos - plus Warwickshire Bears, Worcestershire Royals and Twenty20 Champions Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

The new-look calendar means these fixtures will be played predominately under floodlights on a Friday night across the whole summer, giving supporters the best opportunity to see the Falcons in Twenty20 action in 2014.  

Read more: New county schedule from 2014

Madsen: We will compete for major titles

WayneMadsenCaptain Wayne Madsen says Derbyshire County Cricket Club will be competing for major titles within three years.

The 29-year-old, who recently signed a new three-year contract committing him to the Club until the end of the 2016 season, spoke to the Cricket Derbyshire E-Newsletter about his new deal, his incredible 2013 campaign and his hopes for the upcoming season.

The two-time Club Player of the Year was thrilled to receive a new contract at the end of year and can’t wait for the new season as Derbyshire push for success in all formats. 

“It was a difficult season as a team, but on a personal note I probably enjoyed the best season of my career,” Madsen said.

“It’s obviously nice to be awarded a new deal at the end of the season. I owe a lot to the Club who gave me my first chance.

“I now hope to continue progressing my own game and helping develop a side that can compete in Division One consistently. This will be the goal over the next three seasons.

Read more: Madsen: We will compete for major titles

Derbyshire scoop Community prize

AwardsDerbyshire County Cricket Club was awarded the Best Community Programme prize at last night's ECB Business of Cricket Awards.

The Club picked up the prestigious industry award for its dedicated work, alongside the Derbyshire Cricket Board, within local communities across the whole of Derbyshire.

The award is focused upon how the Club has developed and strengthened relationships with their local County Board with the aim at boosting attendance and participation with maximum inclusion.

Derbyshire's Director of Partnerships Ryan Duckett said: "We're delighted with the award. It's a great reward for a lot of hard work that's gone into the Cricket Derbyshire partnership over the last 12 months.

"We've been working closely with 267 schools and 125 community clubs, engaging with over 30,000 young people to bring cricket to the communities of Derbyshire.

Read more: Derbyshire scoop Community prize

The making of Alastair Cook | By Tony Palladino

AlastairCookPaceman Tony Palladino's latest column for The Cricketer Magazine, as he offers a brilliant insight into the mind of his former team-mate and current England Captain Alastair Cook.

I will never forget the day I first met the future England captain Alastair Cook. Essex v Somerset in the ECB two-day under-17 semi final at Shenley. Cooky had been drafted in to the team as a 15-year-old fresh from a youth world cup and looked a little nervous as he walked into the changing room. 

Chatting to him in the warm-up his voice hadn’t quite yet broken and still had some high-pitched notes to it but he seemed very calm and keen to impress. Opening the batting, I think he made only 20 or 25 but the technique and temperament that he’s exhibited throughout his career was plain to see. This lad was a player.

Over the next few years I watched that young choirboy grow into the man he is today. In the dressing room you couldn't ask for a better team-mate, always willing to help out with throw downs or to hit some catches. His personality is as you see on tv. Never flustered and generally always calm. He knows how to enjoy himself though and with his best friend Mark Pettini in tow, a good night was always had if the opportunity arose. 

Read more: The making of Alastair Cook | By Tony Palladino

Quick-Fire Questions with Shiv Chanderpaul

ShivChanderpaulWest Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the next man to sit down with former all-rounder Jake Needham as he answers quick-fire questions about his Derbyshire team-mates.

This is the next in a series of quick-fire interviews with members of the playing and coaching staff as they reveal all about their fellow Derbyshire colleagues. 

Who is the comedian in the team?
I would have to say Tina [Mark Turner]. He’ll see anything and make a joke out of it. He’s a really funny guy.

Who is the worst driver?
So far the guys have been pretty steady. I haven’t had any issues with them so far!

Who has the safest pair of hands?
I would say Madders is the one I’ve seen who has taken some seriously good catches for us.  I must say that the rest of us have dropped a few, so I will have to go with Madders.

Read more: Quick-Fire Questions with Shiv Chanderpaul

Storey: We're investing in our ambition for future success

SimonStoreyDerbyshire Chief Executive Simon Storey says 2014 Membership balances good value with the desire to invest in the Club’s ambition for future success.

Membership is now on sale and including the chance to make savings of £15 if purchased by the 31st January Early Bird deadline.

All regular season matches are once again included meaning Members can enjoy the three-day match against India in July at no extra charge, as well as eight home LV= County Championship matches and a combined 12 games across the Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest 20-over competitions.

Storey has been pleased with the initial response and hopes supporters will get on board as the Club continues in its quest to bring sustainable success to the county.

“We are very sensitive to the difficult economic times and with the 2014 Membership packages, we’re balancing the need to offer good value Membership with the desire to invest in the Club’s ambition for success,” he said.

Read more: Storey: We're investing in our ambition for future success

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