The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that NatWest will become the title sponsor of Twenty20 cricket at international, county and recreational level from 2014.
It is a ground-breaking agreement for the governing body, as it is the first time a single format sponsorship of the game has been offered to one organisation.
The four-year deal includes England’s eight international T20 fixtures against Sri Lanka (two matches – 2014 and 2016), India, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa. NatWest will continue its support of the women’s game through its title sponsorship of England Women’s home international T20 fixtures.
NatWest will also become the title sponsor of the county T20 competition with the majority of matches being played on Friday nights from 2014. This was the clear preference from the ever-increasing T20 fan base as reflected in ECB’s market research.
In recreational cricket, NatWest retains the title sponsorship of the extremely successful annual NatWest CricketForce weekend (4th-6th April 2014 being the thirteenth event) – where thousands of cricket clubs hold volunteer events to boost investment in grounds and facilities prior to each season, as well as the NatWest Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) which recognises and rewards the game’s volunteers. NatWest will also become the lead sponsor of the ECB’s National Club T20 competition which runs across 32 recreational league competition culminating with the Finals Day shown live on Sky Sports.
Tony Palladino has revealed he is targeting the next LV= County Championship fixture for his long-awaited return.
The 30-year-old has been out of action for three months with an abdominal injury, last appearing in Derbyshire’s four-day fixture against Somerset at the end of June.
The paceman, however, has been working hard off-the-field and is now eyeing the side’s Championship fixture with Middlesex (Tuesday, 20th August) at the County Ground for his likely return.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Palladino said. “I had a good couple of days training in Sussex and I am hoping to get back bowling flat out this week.
“If all goes well, I am hoping to be available for selection for the next Championship fixture. We obviously won our last game, so I don’t know if Krikk will want to change the team or not, but I will try my best to make myself available and I will be raring to go if selected.
“It has been a frustrating season so far for me. It was after the Somerset game, in which I was returning from an earlier injury, that I tweaked something. I felt that I had bowled and batted quite well in that game against Somerset too. But having been out for a large chunk of the campaign and then to get injured straight after was hard.
An outstanding performance in the field, followed by a composed showing with the bat, helped Derbyshire claim their first LV= County Championship victory of the season against Sussex at Hove.
Karl Krikken’s men claimed six wickets in the morning session to set up the historic victory. Tim Groenewald (5-40) bowled superbly to complete his second five-wicket haul of the campaign, and to end the match with eight wickets.
Mark Footitt (3-39) picked up three key wickets, while Cricket Derbyshire University of Derby Academy graduates Matt Higginbottom (1-24) and Alex Hughes (1-27) both claimed a wicket apiece to help dismiss the hosts for just 133 in their second innings – setting Derbyshire 174 to win.
The visitors wasted little time chasing down the total, with Chesney Hughes adding 34, before Ben Slater (66 not out) - who completed his maiden Championship half-century - and Wayne Madsen (62 not out) saw Derbyshire to their first victory in the top flight of the County Championship for more than a decade.
Wayne Madsen led by example hitting a superb 97, as together with Peter Burgoyne the pair helped kick-start the Derbyshire fightback on Day Two against Sussex at Hove.
The visitors seemed to be in trouble on 139-6, but an excellent Captain's knock from Madsen - lasting 270 balls and including 10 fours - and an unbeaten 62 from Academy graduate Burgoyne helped Karl Krikken's side recover to 274 all out.
Tim Groenewald capped off a good day by claiming the late wicket of Chris Nash, as Sussex closed on 11-1, an overall lead of 51 runs with nine wickets remaining.
Derbyshire made a solid start in reply to Sussex’s 314 all out at the beginning of the second day, as Ben Slater and Chesney Hughes added 36 runs for the opening wicket and in good time. But the promising partnership was ended when Chesney Hughes fell for 13 before Slater followed shortly after for 16.
Around 300 members of the Derbyshire business community turned out for the Hospitality event in the beautiful County Ground Marquee as the Club demonstrated its support to Marketing Derby in its continuing quest to establish Derby as a brilliant place to live, work, invest and visit.
Academy graduate Alex Hughes enjoyed a dream first-class debut claiming three wickets to help dismiss Sussex for 314 on the opening day at Hove.
Alex Hughes (3-49) produced an inspired spell of bowling in the afternoon session, securing two wickets within three balls at one stage, to restrict the Sussex batsman on Day One.
Matt Higginbottom (1-69) - who was making his first Championship appearance - picked up his maiden wicket in his opening spell, while Wayne Madsen (2-9) claimed two wickets and Tim Groenewald (3-74) picked up three late in the day.
Luke Wells was the stand out performer for the home side, completing an excellent 238-ball century, before Chris Jordan added 48 to leave the LV= County Championship match finely poised at stumps.
After winning the toss, Derbyshire prized two wickets in a tight morning session courtesy of debutants Higginbottom and Alex Hughes. It was paceman Higginbottom who struck first, forcing an error out of Chris Nash who was well caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at slip for 20.
Karl Krikken admits it has been a difficult season so far – but he believes the Club is on the up and has asked for patience from members and supporters as the five-year-plan for sustainable success continues.
Derbyshire’s interest in the Friends Life t20 competition is over after a campaign that started with three successive victories, but delivered only one more win from the final six matches.
But Krikken’s men have 11 matches still to play in all competitions this season with LV= County Championship survival – and a place in the Yorkshire Bank semi final – the ambitious targets.
Krikken (pictured above alongside Albie Morkel) admits it will be tough, but insists that the players are still fighting.
David Griffin takes a look back at a brief history of Derbyshire County Cricket Club at the home of Sussex Cricket, Hove.
When Derbyshire take on Sussex at Hove in their LV= County Championship Division One match - beginning tomorrow (2nd August) at 11am - it will be the first time the two sides have met at the seafront location in first-class cricket since that blessed summer of 1996, when Derbyshire came close to winning the County Championship.
This will be the 123rd scheduled meeting between Derbyshire and Sussex in Championship cricket, although two of those games were abandoned without a ball being bowled. In the remaining 120 matches, Derbyshire triumphed on 34 occasions to Sussex’s 38 with 48 draws.
Derbyshire’s last visit to Sussex to play red ball cricket was at Horsham in 2010 and before that to the delightful ground at Arundel in 2001 – on both occasions Sussex prevailed.
However, that game in 1996 saw Derbyshire claim a 47-run victory with Adrian Rollins, Kim Barnett and Tim O’Gorman all scoring half centuries and Karl Krikken adding 48, while Devon Malcolm was the destroyer-in-chief with five wickets in each innings.
Head Coach, Krikken, has a special association with the ground – in 1987 he made his maiden first-team appearance for Derbyshire in a John Player League match, and in 2011 his first game in charge of the side was also at Hove in the 40-over competition.
Academy graduates Alex Hughes and Matt Higginbottom have both been named in Derbyshire’s 12-man squad for the LV= County Championship fixture against Sussex at Hove; beginning on Friday at 11am.
Hughes, who has impressed in recent showings in the one-day competitions, is in line to make his first-class debut this week, while Higginbottom, who represented Derbyshire in a first-class fixture against New Zealand earlier this season, is set to make his first Championship appearance for the county.
World number two Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul also returns to the four-day squad to bolster the side’s batting line-up, but paceman Tony Palladino is still unavailable due to injury. Tom Poynton will continue his role as wicketkeeper, while Richard Johnson will be deployed specifically as a batsman.
Wes Durston and Dan Redfern both miss out on selection, but are featuring in the three-day Second XI Championship fixture against Glamorgan at the County Ground, which began on Tuesday.
Sussex will be looking to secure their fifth win of the season, as Ed Joyce’s side attempt to regain top spot in Division One. The county boasts the two highest wicket takers in the league in the shape of Chris Jordan and Steve Magoffin who have both claimed 47 wickets apiece.
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