Derbyshire latest in limbo with Guptill call up
Derbyshire are the latest county to suffer at the hands of international selectors with Martin Guptill recalled to the New Zealand Test squad. Guptill was due to be Derbyshire's overseas player for the first two months of the season.
Middlesex and Lancashire were forced to rethink their own plans for overseas players earlier this week with Adam Voges and Peter Siddle picked for Australia Test duty and now Derbyshire have their own conundrum to solve.
Guptill was due to be at Derbyshire until the one-day leg of New Zealand's tour of England begins at the start of June. But, with the first red-ball tour match starting on May 8, Guptill is now only available for three Championship matches.
"We have obviously prepared a number of additional options in anticipation of Martin's early departure," Graeme Welch, Derbyshire elite performance director, told derbyshirecc.com. "We will now look to put the alternative plans into place as we aim for strong starts in both the LV= County Championship and NatWest T20 Blast competitions."
One additional option would be to get Tillakaratne Dilshan to Derby earlier than planned. He was scheduled to replace Guptill in June but may be available sooner. Sri Lanka have no cricket scheduled and Dilshan did not get bought in the IPL auction.
But Dilshan was bought by Guyana Amazon Warriors for the Caribbean Premier League, which runs from July 11 to August 16. He will return to Derbyshire following the CPL but the initial task for Graeme Welch, Derbyshire elite performance director, was to find a stopgap for Dilshan's CPL absence.
"We will have to look at the budget, of course, but we do hope to find someone to come in for the middle part of the season," Welch said. "New Zealand and Australia are on tour here next summer and if we could find someone who wants to stay on a bit longer and play some county cricket that would be ideal. We'll see who's available but we can afford to wait a little now with the signings we've made."
Derbyshire have potential to press for promotion from Division Two and begin their campaign at home to Lancashire on April 19.