Tom Knight has signed a one-year contract extension, committing him to Derbyshire until the end of the 2015 season.
Knight, a former England under-19 international, played seven NatWest T20 Blast fixtures – starring with an explosive 44 from 18 balls against Northamptonshire - and one Royal London One-Day Cup match in 2014.
The 21-year-old has also been a regular for the Second XI, hitting a run-a-ball 125 in the one-day competition against Yorkshire and an unbeaten 99 off just 55 balls in the Twenty20 win over Durham.
A graduate of the Cricket Derbyshire Academy – in association with the University of Derby, Knight has made 32 appearances for the first team to date.
Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch said: “Tom is a home-grown player with great potential.
Ben Cotton returned figures of 4-20, before Ben Slater and Wayne Madsen both hit half centuries, as Derbyshire seized control on Day Two versus Leicestershire at The 3aaa County Ground.
Cotton claimed four wickets, in his second first-class match, to return career-best figures, while Tony Palladino claimed three as Leicestershire were dismissed for 141 shortly after lunch.
Following on from his maiden first-class century in the first innings, Slater hit his four half-century of the campaign alongside skipper Wayne Madsen, who also passed fifty, as Derbyshire closed the day on 162-1, a lead of 310.
Leicestershire were 25-2 overnight and that quickly became 29-4 as Palladino (3-34) took the wickets of Ned Eckersley (4) and former Derbyshire batsman Dan Redfern (0) within six overs.
Derbyshire paceman Mark Footitt’s outstanding performances have been recognised with selection for the ECB’s England Performance Programme Fast Bowling camp this winter.
Footitt will spend three weeks in South Africa taking part in an extensive bowling training camp with ECB coaching staff, during which he will aim to earn a call-up for the England Lions next year.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed his best season in 2014, claiming 78 first-class wickets at an average of 19, including five five-wicket hauls and career-best figures of 6-48.
Footitt, who joined Derbyshire in 2010, has also claimed 22 wickets in limited-overs cricket this season, including career-best List A figures of 5-59, to take his tally to 100 wickets in all competitions in 2014.
The left-arm paceman is the first Derbyshire player since Dominic Cork (1992 to 2002/03) to earn this level of international recognition.
Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch said: “This is a great achievement for Mark and the Club. It’s fitting recognition for being the leading wicket taker in the country.
Ben Slater says he was relieved to finally get to three figures with Derbyshire and cited his new contract as a factor in helping him reach the landmark.
Slater completed his maiden first-class century on Day One against Leicestershire at The 3aaa County Ground, hitting 104, including 15 fours, as Derbyshire posted 289 in their first innings.
“I’ve been in decent nick and been in a few situations where I should have kicked on, maybe, so it’s nice to get there,” Slater said.
“Graeme Welch has been on at me about it, saying ‘get me a hundred’, so I'm pleased to do it.
“It was a tricky spell first up against Atif Sheikh. I knew he could bowl like that from growing up with him on the academy and had to face a lot of that in the Gateway.
Ben Slater celebrated signing a new two-year contract by scoring his maiden first-class century on Day One of the final LV= County Championship match of the season versus Leicestershire.
The Chesterfield-born Academy graduate reached three figures for the first time in Derbyshire colours, hitting 104, while Wes Durston added 52 as part of 124-run stand with Slater, before Derbyshire were bowled out for 289 shortly before stumps.
Eight overs remained in the day, but only took three for Mark Footitt to make the breakthrough, and in doing so claim his 100th wicket in all competitions in 2014, as Leicestershire closed on 25-2, trailing by 264.
After losing the toss and invited to bat first, openers Billy Godleman and Slater begun well adding 30 runs before Godleman was first man out for 19.
Two quick wickets followed, however, as Wayne Madsen (8) and Cheteshwar Pujara (6), who was dismissed handling the ball after instinctively swatting it away before hitting the stumps, both fell.
Opening batsman Ben Slater has signed a two-year contract with Derbyshire, committing him to the Club until the end of the 2016 season.
The 23-year-old has scored 423 runs, in six matches, at an average of 35.25 since breaking into the LV= County Championship team in July, including three half-centuries.
Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch said: “Ben is a home-grown talent who has come through the ranks and - at 23 years old - has the potential to become a consistent performer.
“He has impressed me since returning to the four-day side.
“He’s a talented cricketer and a proud Derbyshire lad who our members and supporters really root for.
“This is reward for the effort Ben has put in throughout pre-season training and during the summer. It has really started to pay off.
Derbyshire conclude their 2014 LV= County Championship campaign against Leicestershire at The 3aaa County Ground, starting on Tuesday (10.30am).
Graeme Welch has named an unchanged squad as Derbyshire go in search of their fifth win in their last six Championship fixtures, which will also see the county finish the season in fourth place in Division Two.
When the two sides met earlier in the campaign, Derbyshire recorded their first win of the summer, thanks largely to efforts of David Wainwright who scored a century and claimed five wickets in the match.
Derbyshire enter the fixture off the back of an eight-wicket win over Surrey at the Kia Oval last week. Opening batsmen Billy Godleman scored his maiden first-class hundred for the Club, his sixth career first-class century, whilst India Test star Cheteshwar Pujara finished unbeaten on 90 as Derbyshire chased down 251 on Day Three.
Leading wicket-taker Mark Footitt has hailed the impact of Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch after enjoying his best season to date, with a fixture still to go.
The left-arm paceman has claimed a career-best 77 first-class wickets to date in 2014 at an average of just 19.84 and including six five-wicket hauls.
Only four players have claimed more first-class wickets in a season since 1975; Devon Malcolm (82 wickets in 1996), Kevin Dean (83 wickets in 2002), Geoff Miller (87 wickets in 1977 & 1984) and Dominic Cork (90 wickets in 1995).
Footitt says the arrival of Welch has played a big part in his success this summer and he believes the county has an exciting future ahead.
"It's certainly a shame the season is coming to an end for me but it shows what can happen if I am fit, on the park and bowling like I believe I can," said Footitt. "This year it just seems to have clicked for me.
"It was a massive change last winter with Graeme Welch coming in with a totally new structure. No-one really had a clue what to expect from him but he's been a fantastic appointment for the Club and I'm really excited about the future of the county.
Derbyshire have been drawn in Group A for the 2015 Royal London One-Day Cup, and Wayne Madsen is hoping Derbyshire can build on a successful 2014 one-day campaign.
Derbyshire overturned a minus two point deficit to reach the knockout stages of the competition this summer after claiming four wins in Group A this summer.
Madsen believes the Club has made great strides in the 50-over competition this year and has targeted a second successive knockout berth for 2015.
"We had a good run in this season's competition and the tournament gave us a good lift in terms of the season,” Madsen said.
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