Derbyshire look to Barnett magic

Kim Barnett has been appointed as Derbyshire's director of cricket Derbyshire CCC

Derbyshire have turned to Kim Barnett, one of the most inspirational captains in their history, to shake them out of the torpor which saw them finish bottom of the second division of the Championship without a win to their name and fail to progress in both limited-overs competitions.

Barnett has been appointed as director of cricket in a new coaching set-up which leaves the future of John Sadler uncertain. Sadler stepped up as first team coach in June after Graeme Welch resigned from his role after his two-and-a-half years in charge failed to revive the county's fortunes.

Barnett, who will step down immediately from a role as president that he accepted in April, became Derbyshire's youngest ever captain at 22 and won six Lord's finals in a 24-year career as well as enjoying brief England recognition. He became known in county circles for strong opinions about how the game should be run and a determination to see those opinions carried out; the largely ceremionial role of president always seemed an unlikely fit.

Welch laid much emphasis on developing young players, but Barnett's appointment seems to have come with a slight shift of approach with the club talking of "targeted recruitment of senior players".

Chris Grant, Derbyshire's chairman, said that the current coaching structure had been found wanting: "We have been spending over 20% of our overall cricket budget on coaching and this new model will achieve a better balance between our coaching and playing budget.

"As well as providing more targeted coaching resources, it will also free up funds from the cricketing budget that can be spent on attracting higher quality players.

"We believe Kim is the perfect man to lead this new structure. He has done it all as a player and knows how to win competitions. His experience, knowledge and tactical awareness will be invaluable as we move forward."

Below Barnett, as director of cricket, the club will interview shortly for the positions of 1st XI support coach, Twenty20 specialist coach and development coach. Specialist coaches will also be employed on an occasional basis.

Barnett said: "We have some great talent here and some great facilities with a tremendous fitness and medical team supporting the players. However, we have not achieved enough success on the field in recent years. We're determined to change this.

"With a strong captain and players technically sound and tactically clued up, we will be in a great position for next season. If every player at the club proves their worth and takes responsibility for their own performances, the chances of success are greater. Our talented youngsters will come into a dressing room with experienced cricketers that know how to win."