Groenewald leaves Derbyshire for Somerset
Tim Groenewald will join Somerset on loan from Derbyshire for the rest of the season and has agreed a three-year contract with the Division One county. Groenewald had previously indicated he would not be signing a new deal with Derbyshire, leading to him being left out for their last two Championship matches.
Groenewald, 30, began his career with Warwickshire before becoming a valuable member of the Derbyshire attack, with 229 first-class wickets at 29.00 since 2009. Derbyshire's strong seam-bowling line-up helped them to promotion in 2012 and Groenewald was their leading wicket-taker in Division One last season, as they narrowly failed to above going straight back down.
"I am absolutely delighted to be joining Somerset, as it is a club I've held in high regard for many years," Groenewald said. "I couldn't be happier committing the next three years to the club and I can't wait to get started."
Derbyshire opted to play 19-year-old Tom Taylor after Groenewald made his intentions known earlier this month and, despite a heavy defeat at home to Surrey this week, director of cricket Graeme Welch vowed to stick with the club's academy graduates. Tony Palladino and Mark Footitt will likely shoulder a lot of the bowling, with Mark Turner, Matt Higginbotham and allrounder Jonathan Clare providing options within the squad.
"Tim has been a terrific player for Derbyshire and we respect his decision to move on. We wish him and his family all the best for the future," Welch said. "We started discussions about a loan move immediately after Tim advised us that he would not be accepting our offer of a contract extension.
"We will continue to work hard on turning around our fortunes on the pitch this season, as we build towards our long-term ambition of success in all formats of the game.
"We have an exciting crop of young seam bowlers coming through, who have a great opportunity to show us what they can do and to gain valuable first-team experience.
"Tim's departure also frees up some playing budget as we continue looking to strengthen the squad with seasoned pros who can win cricket matches, as well as leading and nurturing the club's emerging young talent. If we need to bring someone in on loan during the interim, that is something we could also look to do."
Derbyshire are currently second from bottom in Division Two, having only beaten Leicestershire, while Somerset are challenging for the Championship pennant in Division One. Groenewald will have to compete with experienced campaigners Alfonso Thomas and Peter Trego, as well as the Overton twins, Lewis Gregory and Craig Meschede for a place in the Somerset line-up.