Johnson is first signing

Derbyshire’s winter recruitment for Division One cricket in 2013 has begun with the signing of Richard Johnson.

The 24-year-old wicketkeeper has signed from Warwickshire on a three-year contract following two loan spells at the County Ground last summer.

Johnson starred with a match-winning 79 versus Yorkshire Carnegie for Derbyshire before returning to Edgbaston and helping Warwickshire to the LV= County Championship title.

Since joining the Warwickshire professional ranks in 2008, Johnson, who played junior cricket for the Bears since the Under 11s age group and attended Solihull School – has played 11 First Class games, 13 List A and 18 t20 matches for the club.

Johnson said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to be signing. When I came here on loan earlier in the summer I fitted in really well, the lads were great to be around and everyone at the club treated me brilliantly.

“Now, having this opportunity to sign for Derbyshire for three years is amazing. I can’t thank the club enough and I can’t wait to get started.

“The chance to play first team cricket with Derbyshire is a fantastic proposition. I have played a bit of first team cricket for Warwickshire in the past, so I am hopeful that I can add some experience to the squad in that department.

“The lads did amazing things last season and deserve to be where they are now. I’m really excited to showcase my talents in the First Division and I know that all the lads feel exactly the same.”

Head coach Karl Krikken said: “I’m delighted to welcome our first signing of the close season as we pursue our aim of becoming a stable First Division Club in 2013.

“The addition of Richard adds to our batting and wicketkeeping options at a time when intensifying competition for places is very important.”