Confident one-day captain Wes Durston has issued a rallying-call ahead of Derbyshire CCC’s new season by declaring: “We don’t fear anyone.”
And he says he sees no reason why his side cannot emulate the giantkilling feats last season of Gloucestershire, a fellow Second Division outfit, who confounded the odds by winning the Royal London One-Day Cup in a thrilling final at Lord’s against Surrey.
Speaking to the club’s website in a video interview, Durston outlined his hopes and aims for the new campaign, which gets under way in April.
“We are looking forward to making progress and maybe making a Lord’s final ourselves,” said the 35-year-old all-rounder who has become such an integral part of Derbyshire’s side.
“What Gloucestershire did last year in the one-day cup was fantastic for them and opens it up for evereyone else. We should have beaten them at Bristol last year, and we did beat them the previous year when we reached the quarter-finals, so we know we’re not far away. It’s just a matter of holding our nerve and doing better in key situations in games.”
Under Durston, Derbyshire narrowly missed out on the knockout stages of the one-day cup last term, but the Falcons enjoyed an improved campaign in the NatWest T20 Blast competition.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my role as captain of the two sides last year,” he said. “We made improvements in both competitions and look forward to learning lessons from last year and putting them in place.
“We have an exciting one-day squad, and we are improving all the time in the white-ball game. We know we can beat the so-called bigger, better counties.”
Derbyshire’s one-day chances will also be considerably boosted this summer by the addition in their top order of New Zealand international duo, Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom, who have been in exceptional form this winter.
“Everyone wants them to bring their quality into our team,” said Durston. “We want them to come in and galvanise our batting line-up, bringing their experience to our young set-up, which can only be a positive for us.
“We now have good options, and competition for places, which is a healthy problem. The new season will soon be here, and we are very excited.”