County news May 9, 2014

Poynton ruled out for season

ESPNcricinfo staff

Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton, who last month was seriously injured in a car crash that claimed the life of his father Keith, has no prospect of playing again this season because of the extent of his injuries.

Further investigations by medical specialists have revealed that Poynton's leg injuries, sustained in the accident, are worse than were originally thought and will require a long period of rehabilitation.

The club have also revealed that Richard Johnson, who contests the wicketkeeping spot with Poynton, is suffering from "sports performance anxiety issues". That has prompted the signing of Gareth Cross, who was released by Lancashire last season as they secured a deal with the England batsman-keeper Jos Buttler.

Graeme Welch, Derbyshire's elite performance director, said: "We are all bitterly disappointed for Tom. He'll get the best possible support from our medical team during his rehab and will remain very much a part of the group.

"It's a setback for the lad, but he's a resilient character and a strong professional. He'll throw himself into rehab and come back fitter, stronger and more determined than before."

Derbyshire had brought in Dan Hodgson on loan but Cross, who has been playing for Nantwich in the Cheshire Premier League, provides a more long-term option. Hodgson has now returned to Yorkshire. He played in Derbyshire's last Championship match, against Worcestershire, after Johnson was ruled out with illness, the nature of which has now been revealed.

"Richard Johnson is a talented cricketer who takes a really hard working and professional approach to his cricket, " Welch said. "However, cricket has to take a backseat for him now while he's given time and privacy to recover with full support and understanding from the club.

"The pressures faced by cricketers who are trying to be successful in a tough environment are well documented. All of the welfare programmes are in place, through the club, the PCA and the ECB, to support Richard at this time.

"Gareth, meanwhile, is an experienced wicketkeeper-batsman and we are delighted to have him at the club. It's testament to the relationships and contacts within our elite coaching structure that we managed to secure such a top signing when we needed it. He's a very good batsman who can score quickly. He's also very tidy with the gloves and his attitude during the trial period with our second team has been top draw."

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  • Steve on May 10, 2014, 22:57 GMT

    Actually InsideHedge, Johnson was first choice for a good part of last summer, especially in the one day game. He just didn't produce the volume of runs to cement his place.

  • Sanjay on May 10, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    @JG2704: The comment is about Johnson never being a 1st choice at Derbyshire but 2nd choice to Poynton....which is less than what he had at Warwicks given he was getting plenty of limited overs games. It's not really a criticism but a genuine curiousity. And it's certainly not a comment on his anxiety issues etc which is what you seem to be implying.

  • John on May 9, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    My sympathies to both men here - esp Poynton who has had a real rough few months

    Why there is any need for comms about why a player left his previous county seems totally irrelevant

  • Sanjay on May 9, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    Johnson should have stayed put at Warwickshire, he was doing just fine as Ambrose's backup and getting plenty of limited overs opportunities, along with FC games when Ambrose's own injuries and anxiety issues prevented him from playing.

    When Johnson moved to Derbyshire, I thought he was being brought in as first choice keeper/batsman but that hasn't been the case. All of which leaves me puzzled as to why he left Edgbaston. Meanwhile, Warwicks' current deputy to Ambrose is nowhere ready to challenge him; he was out of his depth last year when making first team opportunities - and he received plenty of them.

    The loan system is an avenue that was working well for Johnson. It enabled him to go straight into Derbyshire's 1st team while still being on Warwickshire's books. Essentially, he had two teams. There was no need to sever the ties. Well, that's how it looks to me sitting here, a million miles away.

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