County cricket: Derbyshire weighing up two options to fill overseas batting berth

NICK HOWSON: Head of cricket Mickey Arthur “could pull the trigger on a guy tomorrow” but is assessing several candidates ahead of the new campaign

Derbyshire are braced to confirm their frontline overseas batting signing for the 2023 season with head of cricket Mickey Arthur considering two options.

Pakistan batter Shan Masood’s move to Yorkshire as captain leaves the club will be a key void to fill in their batting order.

And after the left-hander scored 1,832 runs across the formats, finding a player to replicate his impact will be a challenge.

“I could pull the trigger on a guy tomorrow I’ve just got to see how it ties in with budgets,” Arthur, the former South Africa, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka head coach, told The Cricketer.

“There is potentially another guy we’ve got in the loop. We are looking to see how that pans out before I commit totally to this player.

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The Shan Masood dilemma faces Derbyshire this winter (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

“There are a host of them that want to come here. I’ve got my eye on one young batter that would be very good for us.

“At the moment it is about making sure our local talent is as good as it can be.

“There is a smorgasbord of talent available who all want to come and play county cricket. They want to come and play.

“We do have options available that hopefully sooner rather than later we can tie up.”

Former Sri Lanka seamer Suranga Lakmal – whose first campaign was cut short by an elbow injury – will fill an overseas spot in the second season of his two-year deal at the Incora County Ground.

Arthur has already beefed up his squad with the addition of Zak Chappell from Nottinghamshire and Matthew Lamb from Warwickshire, while Scotland spinner Mark Watt will also return.

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Suranga Lakmal returns for his second season at Derbyshire (Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

The busy, ever-changing international calendar makes selecting overseas recruits who will be available uninterrupted for the entire campaign troublesome.

Masood’s impressive form ended up backfiring, leading to a Pakistan recall for the Australia and Sri Lanka Tests – although he failed to appear.

He missed the T20 Blast quarterfinal defeat to Somerset and the LV= Insurance County Championship run-in as Derbyshire failed to achieve promotion from Division Two.

England men’s summer assignments typically provide an indication of possible avenues for first-class counties. Ireland, Australia and New Zealand are due to tour in 2023.

Australia’s Michael Neser and Marnus Labuschagne (Glamorgan), Marcus Harris (Gloucestershire) have already signed up for spells.


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