Derbyshire 2023 Preview

We start our County Championship Division Two previews by taking an in-depth look at how Derbyshire are shaping up for 2023 season. Finishing 5th in Division two in the 2022 county season, the side from the East Midlands will be hoping to push towards promotion in this season’s competition.

2022 Review

Derbyshire had a mixed year in 2022, winning just three of their 14 matches in the County Championship, but also only losing three. Their wins came against Leicestershire, Middlesex and Worcestershire, while their (rather heavy) defeats came against Glamorgan, Sussex and — last season’s division two champions — Nottinghamshire. In limited overs cricket, they made good progress in the T20 Blast by progressing to the quarter-finals, and while they failed to qualify for the One Day Cup knockout stage, they still put in a series of good performances against the white ball.

The standout performer for Derbyshire’s red ball team in 2022 was overseas signing Shan Masood, who averaged over 80 with the bat. Anuj Dal was also a revelation for Derbyshire: the batting all-rounder scored just shy of 1000 runs in his 13 games, while also taking 34 wickets (the second most for the team last year, behind the very exciting Sam Conners).

Derbyshire’s Squad Performance 2022

Ins and Outs over the Winter

The squad at the Incora County Ground in Derby has seen some significant changes over the winter months. Overseas star Shan Masood has been signed by Yorkshire for this season’s campaign, while Dustin Melton and Mikey Cohen have been released. Club stalwart Alex Hughes has retired and taken up a role as an analyst with the club.

Zak Chappell has arrived from Nottinghamshire and Matt Lamb from Warwickshire, both of whom could prove clever signings from Derbyshire. Sri Lankan pace bowler Suranga Lakmal returns and Pakistani hard hitter Haider Ali arrives as overseas players for the season.

Leus Du Plooy, who has become such an important figure for the county, has replaced Billy Godleman as captain in the Championship and One-Day cup.

Early Season Fixtures

After a mid-table finish in last season’s competition, Derbyshire will be looking to kick start this season with some positive results. They start with a competitive and evenly matched April, facing Worcestershire and Durham at home, and making a visit to Leicestershire.

GW 1 Worcestershire (H)

GW 2 Leicestershire (A)

GW 3 Durham (H)

Player Picks: A Young Gun, The Must Have, & A Budget Enabler

Young Gun: Nick Potts (£55k)

Nick Potts is an exciting young fast bowler who looks to be another home-grown piece of Derbyshire talent, in the mold of Sam Connors. He has had only a handful of first class opportunities so far, but has certainly shown enough potential to get excited about him. In particular, Potts has a strong bowling action which looks as if it is going to provide him with the potential to get even quicker, allowing him to blast opposition batting lineups away. While he may not get you bonus points for a tight economy rate, he’s definitely a wicket-taker, and looks likely to be the kind of bowler who will clean up the tail or take wickets in clusters, giving DOCs big points on the cheap.

Must Have Player: Wayne Madsen (£106k)

With his experience, Wayne Madsen is the must-have player within this Derbyshire lineup. The 39-year-old averages 40 with the bat in the county championship, having scored 35 centuries over his long career in the competition. He’s primarily a batter, but could also potentially chip in with his off-spin to provide an occasional wicket, especially on a turning pitch, so could be a good ‘faux all-rounder’ to have in your side.

The Budget Enabler: Anuj Dal (£103k)

Anuj Dal was one of the surprise players from 2022, having a fantastic season and making a name for himself within the Derbyshire team over the course of the season as one of their key players. The 26-year-old is a very reliable all-rounder, averaging 36.73 with the bat and 29.44 with the ball. While not a ‘Budget Enabler’ in the most traditional of senses — he’ll cost you £103k — Dal is included here given how well-priced he is for a top-quality all-rounder, who can (and will) reliably pick you up points with both bat and ball. Picking Dal will allow you to splurge your extra money on some ‘bigger’ names, while still having this excellent (and cheaper) ALR bringing plenty of points to your team week in, week out.

Probable XI

1/ Luis Reece

2/ Haider Ali

3/ Brooke Guest (wk)

4/ Wayne Madsen

5/ Leus du Plooy ©

6/ Matt Lamb

7/ Anuj Dal

8/ Mark Watt

9/ Suranga Lakmal

10/ Sam Connors

11/ Nick Potts

Additional Information

The team started last season exceptionally well, scoring the most runs of any team across their first few games last April. This was largely down to Shan Masood though, who will unfortunately not be part of the county this year given his move to Yorkshire, so we can’t guarantee that we’ll see the same again this year.

The county can rest assured that its team should remain stable throughout the year, with very low chances of international call-ups substantially shaking up their squad.

Derbyshire have the backbone of a team that can certainly cause plenty of issues for their opposition, with the experience of Wayne Madsen and Suranga Lakmal combining with the exciting younger talents of Anuj Dal, Haider Ali, Sam Connors and Brooke Guest. They showed promising form in 2022, but can they capitalise on it to push forwards in this year’s competition?

Good luck Derbyshire!

More to come…..

We’ll keep you updated with our Pre-Season Picks the whole way. Keep track & get ready to build your squad at The Cricket Draft

In partnership with The Cricketer

Article by Dom Ford & The Cricket Draft

Thank you Thomas Laver for your contributions



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