Derbyshire plan to “ruffle a few feathers” in One-Day Cup

Captain Billy Godleman, who says he is hopeful Derbyshire can have a successful campaign in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Captain Billy Godleman, who says he is hopeful Derbyshire can have a successful campaign in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Derbyshire have looked back to last season to provide inspiration for the start of this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup competition.

Billy Godleman takes his team to Edgbaston on Thursday less than two weeks after they were beaten by Warwickshire in the Specsavers County Championship.

But Derbyshire’s captain believes his players can “ruffle a few feathers” over the course of the next three weeks and will have a new weapon in his armoury after the signing of Scotland international Safyaan Sharif.

The 26-year-old is expected to make his Derbyshire debut at Edgbaston, with Godleman urging his team to reflect on a memorable performance in May 2017 when Warwickshire were beaten by four wickets at Derby.

“We had a really good victory over them here last season and that will be fresh in our memory,” Godleman said.

“It’s a new competition, and we bring different skills and different variations with the resources we have. I’m confident we can ruffle a few feathers.”

Sharif comes with a good reputation in one-day cricket and will add to Derbyshire’s bowling options after Mark Footitt’s loan spell from Nottinghamshire was put on hold because of injury.

With Footitt back at Trent Bridge, awaiting the results of a scan on his neck, Kim Barnett said it was important to reinforce the bowling attack ahead of a busy period of one-day cricket.

“We are trying to build up that bowling unit in all cricket but particularly in white ball to make sure we are covered for injuries,” Derbyshire’s cricket adviser said.

“We have been lucky with injuries so far, and we were lucky on that score last year in the Twenty 20. But you can’t rule out injuries playing a part, so we need a bit of depth in that seam bowling unit.”

Sharif was the joint highest wicket-taker in the recent ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, where he finished with 17 at an average of 13.94, and Barnett believes he will make an impact this summer.

“We’ve got a nice partnership with Scotland and we’re looking to give him an opportunity,” he said. “He will play T20 as well. Scotland have very little cricket, so he’s free for seven of our eight 50-over matches and all of the T20.

“He’s a white ball specialist and, specifically, I believe in bowling at the end of an innings, which is something we were looking out for. He’s medium quick and has white-ball skills, which we are keen on.”