Sunday, 23 December 2012

DVD Review: Champions Made in Derbyshire

For all Derbyshire fans, that final game of last season, against Hampshire at the County Ground, will live long in the memory. For those who were there, it was a quite extraordinary four days that ebbed and flowed like only a good four-day game of cricket can. That is why for me it was probably even better than those heady days at Lords. It was on home turf, and was with a young, largely locally produced side that was widely written off pre-season (though not by me...)

The club has rightly moved to release a DVD of the game in time for the Christmas market and it is a high quality product. Whether you approve or not of Sky's removal of live cricket from free-to-air television, they have taken cricket broadcasting to a completely new level and the coverage is excellent, the editing first-rate.

Sensibly, there are plenty of cuts to the fans, and most of the crowd, which was very healthy on the last afternoon, seems to be featured. There's even a glimpse of my Derbyshire cap at one point, just after Usman Khawaja reached his second innings fifty...

It is stirring stuff and the talent of such players as Whiteley, Wainwright, Palladino and Poynton is patently obvious. So too is the ability of Usman Khawaja. Watching his innings again reminds you how good a player he can be, but makes it all the more puzzling that he didn't make more runs in the season. He looked a player of the very highest class on that final afternoon, while the power of Ross Whiteley's final assault loses nothing with repeated viewings.

It is all prefaced by a few words from the skipper, Wayne Madsen, who played such a key role in the success of the season, while the post-match scenes of the player and fan celebrations highlight the importance of the win to all of them. Looking at the likes of Tom Knight, Alex Hughes and Peter Burgoyne brought home to me how many Derbyshire players have gone through entire careers without experiencing such success, while they have been fortunate enough to have done so at the outset of theirs.

It is a 'must have' for all Derbyshire cricket fans, especially when the availability of such coverage of our other successes is limited or non-existent. There is a nice bonus feature of our 1993 Benson and Hedges Cup Final win too, with comments by the likes of Devon Malcolm, Dominic Cork, Chris Adams and John Morris. It was another golden day, the type that has been far too infrequent for most fans liking and the innings of Dominic Cork that day lies long in the memory.

So too will the efforts of a fine group of young players in 2012, a side that had been largely written off pre-season. This DVD is testimony to their efforts and also to the sterling efforts of a bright, diligent and innovative marketing team.

You can't really fault it. There will be a lot of DVDs given as presents this Christmas, but few will get the repeated play that this one will.

Derbyshire. Champions of Division Two. It still has a great ring to it...

Champions Made in Derbyshire is available from the club shop, priced £12.00, plus £1.50 postage. Call 01332 388101 or e mail info@derbyshireccc.com


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