Hamish Rutherford is hoping another injection of Kiwi flair can put Derbyshire back in the NatWest Blast T20 running.
Rutherford is the county’s second New Zealander after team mate Martin Guptill to play for Derbyshire this season and will become the Falcons fifth overseas recruit when he makes his bow at New Road tomorrow night (Friday).
The 26-year-old left-handed opener has been part of the Kiwi touring party that has been making friends and influencing the way the game is played and he intends to bring that attacking approach to Derbyshire.
“It has been a great time for New Zealand cricket in the last couple of years and we have seen strong support from the cricketing world,” he said.
“Cricket has always been played in a positive way and that is how I want to play at Derbyshire.”
Rutherford replaces Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan who has left to play in the Caribbean Premier League and will figure in the rest of the North Group T20 games as well as the LV County Championship and Royal London Cup.
He joined up with Derbyshire for the championship match at Chelmsford when Dilshan was unavailable for personal reasons but could not play because the Sri Lankan had not completed the statutory minimum period of 21 days as an overseas player.
“It was nice to hit some balls down in Essex and watch the boys in action,” he said.
“I spoke to Martin (Guptill) briefly about Derbyshire and I am looking forward to getting out there and playing some cricket.
“Hopefully I can score some runs and contribute to some good performances and I’m looking forward to the first game on Friday.
“There is still a lot of cricket to be played in the NatWest T20 Blast and who knows what can happen if we can win a few games, starting this week.
“We haven’t had the start we would have liked and not had the results we would have hopes for but we can still pick up results if we play well.
“In my role as an opening batsman I can have a hit in the first six overs and it will be nice to play white ball cricket again.
“There’s no reason why we can’t produce winning performances but it is about getting that consistency and if we can do that, then the wins will come.”
Derbyshire’s elite performance director Graeme Welch said: “Hamish seems a down-to-earth lad who is very laid-back and loves his cricket. I think he will fit in well and will give us a bit of a lift.”