The news, announced by Chris Grant this evening on Radio Derby, that David Wainwright has signed for Derbyshire is a huge boost for fans as we go into the close season.
There were plenty of other teams chasing the player, some of them in the first division. That he chose Derbyshire may have been from a convenience angle, but it also suggests that players are increasingly aware of what is happening at the club and that they will be given an opportunity to shine. I am of an age where I recall too well when we picked up only the cast-offs of other clubs, the ones who had no other offers on the table and/or were looking for one last pay day before retirement.
As I have written before, Wainwright is a fine player who has toured with England Lions and, at 26, is coming to the point in his career where he knows his game and can be relied on to contribute when the need arises. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could get back into the international reckoning and is thus especially heartening that such a player has opted for a move in our direction. As a batsman he is far better than the number nine he has usually found himself at Yorkshire. I fully expect the left-hander to make a strong case for batting at seven and he could eventually get up to six. He has a solid technique and can play his shots, but is equally able to dig in when the need arises. He is one hundred per cent the type of player we need in the middle order and I expect to see him do well.
As a bowler he has an easy action that enables him to bowl long spells, while his record contains enough four and five wicket hauls to suggest he will take advantage of favourable conditions. Equally important, he has a a good economy rate and should be a valuable member of the attack in T20 when batsmen are attemtping to "get after" him.
Given his all-round ability, both Tom Knight and Peter Burgoyne will still have an opportunity to get into the side, especially for one-day games. As I've written before, however, time is on their side and they have plenty of international commitments that meant that the club needed a viable alternative. Wainwright is above viable - he is a cricketer of considerable talent who is well rated in Yorkshire and elsewhere.
In short? Big thumbs up from me. Another genuine all-rounder at the club and undoubtedly a player who strengthens the side.
Congratulations to Messrs Krikken and Grant for convincing the player to move to Derbyshire in the face of weighty opposition and coming up with an appropriate contract. For those who have queried whether this might happen post-Morris, this signing is a massive reassurance.