India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara says he’s looking forward to his spell with Derbyshire and hopes he can play a leading role as the county look for a strong finish to the season.
Pujara will be available for Derbyshire’s final three LV= County Championship games this season, starting with the trip to Glamorgan starting on Tuesday (10.30am start).
The 26-year-old, who was talking at today’s official launch of the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation at Dale Primary School, says he can’t wait to get started.
“I’m looking forward to a good few weeks with Derbyshire,” Pujara said.
“I’ve been to Derby before during India’s Test warm-up match in July. I love Derby because it’s a small town; there’s a quietness about it that I like.
“When I was here with India, we had a conversation about staying here to play and I am really happy that it has worked out.
Cheteshwar Pujara will make his Derbyshire debut as Derbyshire travel to Cardiff to face Glamorgan, starting on Tuesday 9 September (10.30am start).
Graeme Welch’s men have won their last three four-day fixtures, with victories over Gloucestershire and Glamorgan in July, followed by last week’s dramatic final-day win versus Worcestershire.
It’s the first time the county has been triumphant in three successive Championship games since 2002 and Derbyshire now travel to South Wales as they look to make it four in a row.
Glamorgan currently sit eighth in Division Two, 14 points behind Derbyshire having played a game more. Wayne Madsen’s side came out on top when the two teams met in July at The 3aaa County Ground, as eight wickets in the match from Mark Footitt helped guide his side to a six-wicket win.
Billy Godleman has signed a new one-year contract with Derbyshire for the 2015 season.
The 25-year-old played a leading role in Derbyshire's run to the quarter-final of the Royal London One-Day Cup, scoring 264 runs at an average of 37.71, including a top-score of 96.
The former England Under 19s captain has also added four fifties in LV= County Championship cricket this season, as well as a half-century in each innings of the tour match versus India.
Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch said: "Billy has integrated into the team very well. He has improved as an individual and is going to get a lot of work this winter on his batting and we will see where that takes us.
"Ant (Botha) has been doing something technically with him and we are actually seeing an improvement during the season, which has created hope that he can kick on - because he has been stuck in quicksand for the last two or three years.
Shiv Thakor says the chance to join Derbyshire was too good to turn down and he can’t wait to start working with Graeme Welch and his coaching team.
The 20-year-old turned down a number of alternative offers to sign a two-year deal with Derbyshire, committing his future to the county until the end of the 2016 season.
Thakor said: “Leicestershire gave me my initial opportunity in the professional game which I am very grateful for. I would like to thank the staff, board and most importantly the supporters at Leicestershire.
“It's been a tough decision to leave the county that has given me my start in professional cricket, but I am now looking to take the next step in my career and I felt it was time for a new challenge.
“I want to take my game to the next level and put myself in the best position to play for England in the future. Having spoken to Graeme and the rest of the coaching team, there is no question that Derbyshire is the best place at this time.
“It’s an exciting time to be at Derbyshire and I couldn’t pass the opportunity to join.
The Connecting Communities project, which has been offering free cricket coaching during the summer holidays, came to a close in Arboretum Park last week with over 30 young people presented medals and certificates by Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton.
The popular sessions were delivered by the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation (Charity Reg No. 1155801), in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner of Derbyshire.
Arboretum Ward Councillor Gulfraz Nawaz said: “It’s been great to see Cricket Derbyshire making such a positive contribution to the local community, with plenty of smiling faces among the youngsters that took part.
“My thanks in particular go to Tom Poynton for attending the final session and offering inspiring advice – and to the community coaches that took the sessions throughout the summer holidays.
“To get the Police and Crime Commissioner of Derbyshire working together with Cricket Derbyshire for the benefit of the local community has been a great initiative.
Youngsters aged 16-19 can apply today to be enrolled on the inaugural Cricket Derbyshire Sport Academy for the new term, starting in September 2015.
The new course, delivered in partnership between Cricket Derbyshire and Derby College, provides a robust education option for teenagers with an interest in cricket.
The course will include opportunities to use Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s elite training facilities – and receive coaching and training sessions from professional Cricket Derbyshire coaches.
Delivery will include:
· Technical and tactical coaching.
· Psychological, physiological and lifestyle management.
· Additional cricket related coaching or officiating qualifications.
· Health and fitness programme.
The development of playing skills and coaching is the key aspect of the programme, which will enable a clear route through to higher level study such as University, or possible employment opportunities within sport.
All-rounder Wes Durston could not hide his joy after returning career-best figures of 5-19 in the 138-run victory over Worcestershire at The 3aaa County Ground.
Durston's haul blew away the visitors during an extraordinary final session to hand Graeme Welch’s men their third successive LV= County Championship victory - the first time the feat had been achieved since 2002.
Durston was delighted to play a key role as Derbyshire secured a thrilling final-day win on what was a faultless day for Wayne Madsen's men.
“It was just a perfect way to win a game. If we had written a plan out last night, it would probably have been like that," Durston said.
"It was a good toss to win and to get 350 on that first day was vital in setting the game up. The way we bowled could have given us a lead but two of their guys played nicely.
Derbyshire pace bowler Matt Higginbottom has been informed of the Club’s decision not to offer him a contract for next season.
The 23-year-old made six first-class appearances for the county since making his debut against New Zealand in 2013, claiming 14 wickets in total. He also featured in four Twenty20 fixtures and one List A match.
Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch said: “Matt’s opportunities in the team this season have been very limited, but he’s been very professional and continued to work hard throughout.
“Decisions to let players go are always tough. We wish Matt all the best for the future.”
Derbyshire claimed seven wickets in the final session to secure a dramatic 138-run victory against Worcestershire in the LV= County Championship fixture at The 3aaa County Ground.
Wes Durston claimed career-best figures to blow away the visitors' middle-order after tea as Daryl Mitchell’s side slumped from 59-3 to 129 all out to hand Graeme Welch’s men an enthralling final-day win.
The victory was Derbyshire’s third successive LV= County Championship victory, the first time the feat has been achieved since 2002.
Derbyshire began the day in search for quick runs as they set about setting Worcestershire a total to chase. Wayne Madsen was the mainstay of the innings, falling just two runs short of his second century of the campaign, as he was the ninth man out for 98 off 135 balls (11 fours, 1 six).
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