The Cheltenham Festival – the cricket one, that is – has been rewarding for Derbyshire over recent decades, writes David Griffin.
Some outstanding performances and victories spring to mind; John Morris’s quite brilliant 229 against a fiery Courtney Walsh; and Dominic Cork’s maiden century in the same innings, followed by Allan Warner’s 10 wickets in the match were the highlights in 1993.
Morris and O’Gorman, meanwhile, had both scored hundreds there four years earlier.
That visit 25 years ago was this writer’s first to one of the most famous festival venues in county cricket, and saw Derbyshire travel directly from a game at Chesterfield – against Lancashire – to the Gloucestershire outground.
It’s a trip that will be repeated this season as no sooner will the curtain be brought down on the Old Speckled Hen Chesterfield Festival following the NatWest T20 Blast fixture against Yorkshire, than the Cheltenham Festival will begin the following morning.
This will be Derbyshire’s first appearance at Cheltenham since 2009 when John Morris rang the changes following an unbeaten start to the season which had yielded a single victory with six draws.
After the conclusion of the Old Speckled Hen Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire face Gloucestershire in the LV= County Championship at Cheltenham, starting today (Monday 14 July) at 11am.
Derbyshire make one change to their matchday squad with the inclusion of opening batsman Billy Godleman. Wayne Madsen’s side will also be boosted by the inclusion of West Indies international Shivnarine Chanderpaul after he returned to the squad last week and scored 92 against Essex at Queen’s Park.
Gloucestershire have blend of experience and youth in their squad and will be able to call upon former New Zealand international Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman for the game against Derbyshire.
Alex Lees’ quick-fire 67 helped guide Yorkshire to victory in front of over 4,000 supporters at Queen's Park on the final day of the Old Speckled Hen Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council.
Lees hit four fours and three sixes in his 44-ball knock while New Zealand international Kane Williamson added 41 as Yorkshire posted 183-4 off 20 overs.
Gareth Cross led the Derbyshire reply striking 37 off just 19 balls, but the hosts lost regular wickets to be dismissed for 124.
After being asked to bat first, the Vikings got off to quick start thanks to Williamson, as the opening batsman smashed 41 off just 26 balls (7 fours, 1 six) as the visitors moved to 79-1 after nine overs.
Marcus North removed Williamson during a prosperous period for the Falcons who restricted Yorkshire to 99-3 midway through the 13th over. North was the pick of the bowlers returning figures of 2-27 off his four overs.
But Lees and Andrew Gale regrouped to add 65 for the fourth wicket in just 6.2 overs to move their side to 164-4 in the penultimate over.
Derbyshire resume their home LV= County Championship campaign against Glamorgan at The 3aaa County Ground; starting on Sunday 20 July.
A lot changed at Glamorgan over the winter with a new Coach, overseas signing and Director of Cricket in place hoping to turn the Welsh Club’s fortunes around.Toby Radford, former West Indies assistant coach, has arrived as first team coach, while Hugh Morris has left his job as Managing Director of England cricket to take up the role as Glamorgan’s CEO and Director of Cricket.
On-the-field, Glamorgan have signed former South African Test batsman Jacques Rudolph who has plenty of county cricket experience after enjoying spells with both Yorkshire and Surrey.
Derbyshire Falcons entertain Yorkshire Vikings on the final day of the Old Speckled Hen Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, at the picturesque Queen’s Park on Sunday 13 July; 2.30pm start.
Australian opener Aaron Finch will spearhead the Yorkshire Vikings line-up, which is also likely to include England duo Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow, and New Zealand international Kane Williamson, for the NatWest T20 Blast fixture.
Derbyshire Falcons name an unchanged squad and have included Billy Godleman and Australia international Marcus North to its 14-man NatWest T20 Blast squad to face Yorkshire.
Tickets will be available on the gate (£18 Adults, £5 Juniors), but supporters can save £4 by purchasing their matchday tickets in advance of the day of the game. To buy tickets, please call 0871 350 1870 or click here>>
Supporters of Derbyshire and Yorkshire are set to turn Queen’s Park in Chesterfield red this Sunday. The Club and national charity Heart Research UK are urging supporters to don the charity colours of red or purple at the game to raise awareness for this worthy cause. Read more here>>
For more information about the Old Speckled Hen Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, please click here>>
Tom Knight smashed 44 off just 18 balls, but a brutal innings from South Africa international Richard Levi guided Northamptonshire to a four-wicket win a thrilling NatWest T20 Blast fixture at Northampton, writes Neil Bates.
Gareth Cross top-scored for the Falcons with 48 runs and he was ably assisted by Billy Godleman (38) and Knight, who hit 5 sixes in his unbeaten 44, as Derbyshire posted 191-6.
Northants made a quick start in reply thanks to openers Levi (69) and David Willey (40) before Graeme White (12 of two balls) hit successive sixes to see the Steelbacks to victory with four balls to spare.
Losing the toss and asked to bat first, Derbyshire got off to a flyer with Marcus North opening the batting in the absence of Wes Durston. North built a partnership of 67 for the second wicket with Cross that moved Derbyshire to 54-1 after six overs.
North was eventually caught for a run-a-ball 29 and Cross was also caught soon after, top-scoring with 48 from only 33 balls (5 fours and 1 six). Derbyshire lost Wayne Madsen and Alex Hughes cheaply in quick succession which brought the returning Billy Godleman and Tom Knight to the crease with the score at 118-5 from 15 overs.
Supporters are advised to arrive early for Sunday’s NatWest T20 Blast fixture - versus Yorkshire Vikings at Queen's Park, Chesterfield - to beat the queues and secure a great view of the action.
Almost 3,500 tickets have already been sold for the match and Chief Executive Simon Storey expects another 1,000 to be sold on the gate.
He said: "Queen’s Park is a special place to watch cricket and a bumper crowd for the visit of Yorkshire will create a special atmosphere.
“We work very closely with Chesterfield Borough Council to host the annual festival and it's something of which the town can be very proud.
“Off the field, the safety and comfort of supporters is top priority.
“We work very hard to transform Queen’s Park into a great venue to watch cricket - with extras seats, toilets, bars and snack vans - and we are bringing in 400 extra seats for Sunday's match against Yorkshire.
Tickets will be available on the gate at Sunday’s NatWest T20 Blast showdown at Queen’s Park – however savings of up to £4 per ticket are available by buying in advance.
Derbyshire versus Yorkshire gets underway at 2.30pm with supporters from both sides of the border set to pack out one of first-class cricket’s most picturesque venues.
Derbyshire Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch is looking forward to the challenge against a Vikings side set to include the world’s number one Twenty20 batsman, Aaron Finch.
The Australia international hit a world-record 156 off just 63 balls in a Twenty20 international against England last year and has established a reputation as one of the most powerful hitters in the world game.
Welch said: “Games against Yorkshire at Chesterfield are great occasions for Derbyshire supporters.
“It will be good for the lads to play in front of a big crowd and hopefully that can spur them on. We've had a tough campaign, but the lads are still working hard and will keep fighting.
Derbyshire travel to the County Ground in Northampton to face the Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Friday 11 July (6.30pm start), as the NatWest T20 Blast campaign continues, by Neil Bates.
Northants’ won the Twenty20 competition in 2013, thanks largely to the efforts of all-rounder David Willey. Willey hit the quickest half-century of the tournament from only 19 balls and then went on to take figures of 4-9 including a hat-trick to seal victory for Northants’ on Finals Day at Edgbaston.
Derbyshire Falcons welcome back batsman Billy Godleman to the limited overs side after he recently made his return from injury, while Marcus North, who missed the four-day fixture versus Essex, returns to Graeme Welch’s side.
Wayne Madsen said: "We have got a couple of Twenty20 games over the next few days, tonight against Northants away then in front of big crowd against Yorkshire at Chesterfield on Sunday.
"We're looking forward to switching formats for the two games and I think it will be good chance for us to improve our Twenty20 form and we're looking forward to the game tonight."
The two sides’ first meeting of the season at The 3aaa County Ground was abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain.
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