‘ I want to make this the county of choice’.
Those were the words of Mickey Arthur, soon after, he signed as Head of Cricket at Derbyshire last winter.
Today on Twitter he welcomed new County signing, Matt Lamb, to that same county of choice, in what is likely to be the first of several signings over the next couple of seasons that will galvanise and transform the club.
Historically, good cricketers don’t move from ‘big’ Test match ground counties to ‘little’ clubs like Derbyshire. Matt Lamb is a very good, very talented player.
His absence from the Warwickshire side had been noted, though I had put it down to injury, rather than the player’s desire to experience pastures new. Let’s face it, his average suggests a player of above average talent, while the manner in which he scores his runs is indicative of someone who supporters will enjoy watching.
At 26 he has served his apprenticeship and the Staffordshire-born batsman has a chance to develop his game under the tutelage of one of the game’s finest coaches. It may well be that Ian Bell, who worked with the county last year, tipped them off as to the player’s unease at Edgbaston, but it is an impressive signing and a statement of intent.
Lamb averaged a shade under 50 in his first team appearances last year, over 40 in List A cricket so far. Such figures are indicative of his talent, but I suspect he has the potential to kick on still further with increased opportunity.
He is also a useful medium pace bowler and no captain can have too many bowling options to choose from. At a time when the club have announced next year’s membership rates, it is a timely signing, as well as being an astute one.
If this is what the winter holds in store, then bring it on. There is now additional competition in what is already a strong Derbyshire middle order and, following on from the signing of Zak Chappell, the Mickey Arthur revolution is starting to take shape at the Incora County Ground.
Welcome to Derbyshire, Matt. We look forward to watching you and welcoming you to one of the most friendly clubs on the circuit.
Here he is in action. 6’3 and imposing at the crease, one to watch for sure.