Derbyshire County Cricket Club have filled the gap created by Martin Guptill’s Test recall by signing world-class South Africa batsman and Test captain, Hashim Amla.
Amla, who is currently ranked as the world’s number three Test batsman, will join the Club at the start of May and be available for two LV= County Championship matches and three NatWest T20 Blast fixtures.
The 31-year-old, who is widely regarded as one of the best batsman in world cricket, has featured in 82 Tests scoring 6,757 runs at an average of 52.78 and a top score of 311 not out.
He is also an experienced limited overs batsman, scoring over 2,500 runs in 100 Twenty20 appearances, with a high score of 88 not out, and a strike rate in international Twenty20 cricket of 122.44 at an average of 25.0.
Amla’s first fixture for Derbyshire will be the LV= County Championship match against Northamptonshire at The 3aaa County Ground, Derby, beginning on Sunday 10 May.
A partnership of 145 between Billy Godleman and Wes Durston – in addition to three late wickets – meant that Derbyshire edged the second day versus Lancashire at The 3aaa County Ground.
Having taken the final two Lancashire wickets for just a single, Derbyshire bowled their visitors out for 293 on the morning of Day Two of the LV= County Championship fixture at The 3aaa County Ground.
In reply, Durston scored a rapid 85 alongside Godleman – who struck 76 – as Derbyshire recovered from 26-3 to post 274; handing Lancashire a slender first-inning lead of 19.
This left enough time for some late drama as the hosts claimed three wicket in the final 11 overs of the day – including the two Lancashire openers – to swing the match back in favour of Derbyshire, with Lancashire 36-3, and set up an intriguing last two days.
Derby-based IT service providers, ICU IT, have played their part in helping Derbyshire County Cricket Club prepare for the new season, both on and off the field.
The Club’s Preferred IT Partners have taken a leading role during the Club’s off-season ground development work, upgrading the Club’s IT infrastructure at The 3aaa County Ground.
Both hardware and software have been upgraded, optimising the systems to match the business requirements and proving high-speed internet for staff and corporate guests.
ICU have also been working closely with the cricket management staff to deliver analytics and overall performance analysis systems as the squad prepared for the start of the 2015 campaign.
Derbyshire CCC Head of Commercial, Ryan Duckett said: “ICU have played a significant role during the winter’s ground development, significantly upgrading our IT infrastructure.
The Club enjoyed a bumper first day crowd on Sunday as almost 1,000 supporters visited the newly-redeveloped 3aaa County Ground for the start of the new season.
A million pound was invested during the off-season to improve facilities around the ground, including new and exclusive Members facilities in The 3aaa Pavilion.
The Club has also recruited a new in-house catering team, offering Members and supporters more catering options than ever before on matchdays.
Chief Executive, Simon Storey said: “The Club would like to thank everyone who attended today’s fixture for their support and we hope you enjoyed your visit to the new-look 3aaa County Ground.
“With the optimism of the new season ahead and the recent investment, we anticipated a bigger crowd that usual and the crowd were certainly treated to a fascinating days cricket.
Tony Palladino claimed three wickets and Lancashire's Alviro Petersen hit a debut century on an even first day at The 3aaa County Ground.
Derbyshire started brightly with the ball and two early wickets from Palladino, with one apiece for Mark Footitt and Shiv Thakor, helped reduce the visitors to 55-4.
A fine century from Petersen, as well as useful contributions from Tom Smith, Alex Davies and Peter Siddle, helped Lancashire recover in the afternoon sunshine.
But two wickets just before the close from Palladino and Thakor halted Lancashire’s progress, and gave Derbyshire some momentum to take into Day Two.
Mark Footitt is targeting a repeat of last season’s heroics as he prepares for the start of the new LV= County Championship campaign, starting on Sunday.
The 29-year-old left-arm paceman was the country’s leading wicket-taker last year racking up a tally of 84 wickets in first-class cricket at an average of 19.19, including six five-wicket hauls.
Footitt says that the players are relishing the visit of Lancashire to The 3aaa County Ground this week as they look to start the season in winning fashion.
“All the lads in the squad are raring to go and wanting to get this first game underway,” Footitt said.
“It’s a massive game for us, if we start well and get the points on the board, the momentum carries us on for the rest of the season.
Graeme Welch has named a 13-man squad for the LV= County Championship opener against Lancashire at The 3aaa County Ground, starting on Sunday.
New Zealand international Martin Guptill will make his return to Derby and will hope to maintain his dazzling form after hitting an unbeaten 161 off 108 balls against Cambridge MCCU last week.
Tony Palladino, who missed the victory at Fenner’s, returns to the squad, while Shiv Thakor is in line to make his first-class debut for the Club after joining from Leicestershire in the close season.
Chesney Hughes is also included in the squad after he missed the university fixture, but Jonathan Clare and David Wainwright are still absent through injury
Wayne Madsen is delighted with the progress made during pre-season and is now targeting a fast start to the new campaign which begins on Sunday.
Derbyshire entertain Lancashire in the LV= County Championship curtain-raiser, which starts on Sunday (11am) at The 3aaa County Ground.
The visitors have appointed Ashley Giles as their new Director of Cricket, after Mike Watkinson stepped down at the end of last season. They also have a new captain in all-rounder Tom Smith, and will enter the new season as one of the promotion favourites.
But Madsen believes, following a successful winter programme, that Derbyshire will be on their game as they look to start the new season with a win.
Martin Guptill says he is enjoying his return to red ball cricket and hopes he can help Derbyshire make a quick start to their four-day campaign which begins on Sunday.
The New Zealand international arrived at Derbyshire last week following a record-breaking World Cup campaign where he finished as the leading run scorer, scoring 547 runs at an average of 68.37 and a top score of 237 not out.
The 28-year-old featured in the recent victory against Cambridge MCCU and showed no signs of rustiness with the red ball, hitting a rapid 161 off 108 balls before retiring, as Derbyshire won by an innings and 264 runs.
Guptill is delighted with his batting form and the smooth transition from playing in the World Cup to arriving to play red ball cricket in Derbyshire and can't wait for the new season to begin on Sunday versus Lancashire at The 3aaa County Ground.
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