The Derbyshire first-team squad fly out to Abu Dhabi on Friday morning for the pre-season tour, sponsored by Briggs of Burton, and Wayne Madsen is relishing the trip.
Derbyshire will play county opposition in the form of Middlesex and Worcestershire, in addition to a Twenty20 fixture versus ICC Associates XI at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
The matches in Abu Dhabi will be the first opportunity for the squad to play some competitive cricket after over four months of pre-season training. Madsen is looking forward to spending time in the middle and creating momentum ahead of the new season in April.
“We have had a good winter's training so far and we can’t wait to get out to Abu Dhabi,” Madsen said.
“The guys are really looking forward to getting outside and taking the skills that we have been training in the Elite Performance Centre for four or five months into the green grass of Abu Dhabi. It will be great to get back into the middle and play some cricket.
Derbyshire’s Digital Marketing Apprentice, Neil Bates, will be joining the first team squad on their pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi - a trip of a lifetime made possible by a 3aaa Apprenticeship.
Neil, who has been a member of the Club’s Media and Marketing Department since June 2014, will be providing the media coverage, in association with 3aaa, of Derbyshire’s 10-day tour in the United Arab Emirates.
The First Team squad fly out to Abu Dhabi on Friday 6 March and will compete in both red and white ball action against first-class opposition - including Worcestershire and Middlesex - before returning on Monday 16 March.
Neil, who lives in Mickleover, will be following the squad every step of the way as preparations for the new season enter its final stages.
Neil said: “I am extremely grateful to both the Club and 3aaa for giving me this fantastic opportunity.
Two young cricketers have signed incremental contracts with Derbyshire for the 2015 season.
Cricket Derbyshire Academy – in partnership with the University of Derby products Will Davis and Harry White (pictured above) have been awarded the deals after impressing during pre-season.
Pace bowler Davis captained the Academy side in 2014 and was named Academy Player of the Year.
He recently earned a call-up to the England Under 19s squad for their forthcoming tour of Australia.
White, a left-arm paceman, signed his first summer contract at the conclusion of the 2014 season prior to earning this incremental deal.
The Club’s system of summer and incremental contracts is in line with new PCA and ECB guidelines and has already played an integral role in the development of eight members of the current full-time professional squad.
Queen’s Park, Chesterfield, will once again be in the media spotlight when international cricket returns to the town in an Ashes summer when England Under-19s face Australia Under-19s in the second of five One-Day internationals in August.
The match is to be played on Friday 14 August and is a chance for supporters to watch the England and Australia stars of the future, including a potential appearance from Derbyshire fast-bowler Will Davis who was recently selected for the Under-19s tour of Australia.
The match will bring a second helping of high quality action for the Chesterfield public following Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s annual Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council. This will be held in July and includes LV= County Championship action against Glamorgan and NatWest T20 Blast fixtures versus Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Yorkshire Vikings.
Chesterfield Cricket Club Chairman Mike Taylor said: “We are looking forward to another great summer of cricket here in Queen’s Park.
England slipped to a third defeat in four World Cup games – despite a century from Joe Root - as Sri Lanka comfortably chased 310 to win by nine wickets in Wellington.
Lahiru Thirimanne hit an unbeaten 139 and Kumar Sangakkara 117 not out to seal victory with 16 balls to spare.
On the completion of the chase, Sri Lanka became only the second team to overhaul a score of 300 or more with nine wickets in hand.
Earlier, Root made 121 off 108 balls to become the youngest England batsman to score a World Cup century as England accelerated late on to post 309-6.
But Sri Lanka showed that to be nowhere near enough and England will almost certainly be eliminated if they lose either of their final two games against Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
New Zealand survived a late collapse to beat Australia by one wicket in a thrilling World Cup Pool A game and maintain their perfect start to the competition.
Chasing 152 to win, the Kiwis slipped from 131-4 to 146-9 as Mitchell Starc claimed 6-28.
However, Kane Williamson (45 not out) hit Pat Cummins for six to seal victory with 26.5 overs to spare in a wonderfully tense climax at Eden Park in Auckland. Derbyshire’s Martin Guptill contributed 11 in the low-scoring contest.
Earlier, Australia lost eight wickets for 26 runs as they were bowled out for 151, with Trent Boult claiming 5-27.
"I was always going to try and hit a boundary at the end as I didn't want to leave it too long," Williamson told Test Match Special after hitting the winning runs.
AB de Villiers hit the fastest ever 150 in one-day internationals as South Africa condemned West Indies to a crushing 257-run defeat in Sydney.
De Villiers took 64 deliveries to reach 150, beating the previous best, set by Australia's Shane Watson, by 19 balls. He finished 162 not out from 66 balls as South Africa made 408-5, the second-highest total in World Cups.
Imran Tahir took 5-45 as West Indies were 151 all out to equal the heaviest World Cup defeat by runs.
Only last month, De Villiers hit the fastest-ever ODI hundred against the same team in Johannesburg, from 31 balls. In that same innings, South Africa's captain also set the record for the fastest fifty in ODIs, from 16 balls.
Derbyshire's 2015 campaign is just 50 days away and excitement is building for the new season, which begins with the visit of Lancashire on Sunday 19 April at The 3aaa County Ground.
World Cup debutants Afghanistan defeated Scotland by one wicket with just three balls remaining to secure a historic win in Dunedin.
Samiullah Shenwari was the hero for Afghanistan, falling just four runs short of his first List A century as he spearheaded his side’s exciting chase.
Scotland set their opponents 211 to win in a relatively low-scoring game at the University Oval with Afghani Shapoor Zadran taking figures of 4-38.
With help from opener Javed Ahmadi (51 from 51 balls), Shenwari held down Afghanistan’s innings throughout much of the run-chase, but it was left to Zadran (pictured above) to strike the winning runs and spark unrivalled joy in the Afghani camp.
Strength & Conditioning Coach Dr Jamie Tallent says the squad are the fittest they have ever been as preparations for the new season enter the final phase.
The players have been in training at The 3aaa County Ground since the start of November building towards the start of the 2015 campaign, which begins with the visit of Lancashire on Sunday 19 April.
Tallent has been pleased with the squad’s work over the winter and says they will reap the benefits come April.
“The improvement is year-on-year in terms of fitness levels,” Tallent said.
“I would like to think we will be streets ahead of other counties. This year is the hardest I have ever seen the lads work.
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