March 21, 1972, Durham
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
The Derbyshire board made an astute appointment in making Graeme Welch captain following Luke Sutton's departure to Lancashire. Welch is one of the more experienced members of the Derbyshire team, having played 156 first-class matches since his debut for Warwickshire in 1994. He is never one to seek the limelight, so his role in the successful Warwickshire team of the mid-nineties is often overlooked.
He has been a reliable bowler since his arrival at Derbyshire, consistently taking 50 first-class wickets a season with his right-arm medium-pace bowling and he can be counted on to bowl 500 overs a season. His vast experience in one-day cricket has been beneficial to Derbyshire: in over 200 matches, his economy rate is 4.39 runs per over. His batting has blossomed since moving here, with his two first-class centuries both coming since 2001.
Welch is the ultimate county professional. He is tireless, sociable and a great team player, and will play an active part in helping the youth of Derbyshire's cricketers develop their game and learn their trade. While at Derbyshire, he has played in a struggling team: that, however, has not dampened his enthusiasm. And under his leadership, Derbyshire broke their four-year run without a home Championship win when they beat Somerset and were in the promotion hunt into the final month of 2006.
He was forced to retire through injury in 2007 but made the switch into coaching by being appointed as Essex's bowling coach in 2008.
Chris Oliver December 2007
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