Q&A with 1st Team Captain & Professional, Daryn Smit

It’s been a year since we first went into lockdown, how has it gone at DCCC?

It has been a very challenging 1st year in my new role at Derbyshire CCC. Just when I started getting some momentum after a month or 2 we went into lockdown and it has been very stop start since then. The goodness is that there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel and fingers crossed we can have a fairly normal, full summer of cricket this year.

How did you find the truncated 2020 season?

The fact that we managed to play any cricket at all was a bonus as it was looking at one stage as though we wouldn’t get any game time at all. We played almost a full season worth of games in 2 months with almost every weekend being a double header and some even triple headers. It was great to get so much cricket on, although my aging body was telling me otherwise on most Monday mornings.

What positives and negatives did you see from last year’s format?

I loved the 40 overs because of the aging body but mostly because of the way it forced a minimum of 5 bowlers to make proper contributions. For me that help’s develop cricketers in the long run. The downside with 10 less overs to face was that some no. 6,7,8 batters have less of an opportunity to make an impact in the game.

Moving onto this year, how is the squad looking?

We are going to be challenged and tested this season with regards to our depth within the squad. We have lost half a dozen players for various reasons and that would leave any club stretched. Always looking at it optimistically, it does offer opportunities for players to step up to the plate, show us what they about and take responsibility for leading the team with both bat and ball.

With Trig retired (for now) how will match days differ? 

The PA system may well be manned as a result. But seriously, the void he will leave in the change room and on the field is immeasurable. 

As mentioned though, it will be a great opportunity to start developing the next generation Trig.

What goals (if any) have you set the team this season? 

I want us to win everyone trophy we play for. Although that might seem an unlikely task, if we don’t go into every match and every competition aiming to and believing that we can win then we are just making up the numbers and we are too good a side to just do that.

With the flight ban still in place, how do you see the league shape working this season? 

Times are so uncertain at present and I honestly don’t know.

Personally I want to play every opposition at full strength and I would like all pro’s to arrive for the season but at the same time my focus is on us and controlling what we can and not getting caught up on any other clubs or what pro’s they do or don’t have.

There are a number of English Ed based pro’s, do you see that as the way forward for the Lancs League.

Being an English based pro: this might sound contradictory but I think having pro’s from overseas in the league not only keeps the longstanding tradition of UK club cricket going but it also raises the standard and helps broaden our local amateurs knowledge and understanding of how cricket is played around the world. How many of our elder club players learnt so much from the previous eras international pros. Some stories and anecdotes have gone down in folklore and it would be said to see that start diminishing. 

Fixture you look out for when published?

Lowerhouse is always my favourite, closely followed by Burnley. 

Genuinely strong opposition which is what I thrive for but also a good bunch of blokes to play hard against but then share a beer together afterwards.

You’ve been around the league for a number of years now, how has it changed over the years?

The 2 division split has certainly strengthened the league. There are no longer any easy games and you always want to be fighting for a title rather than a relegation battle.

Title Contenders 

Difficult to say with confidence until we know the pro situation but I’d say Rammy, Burnley and Lowerhouse with confidence for now with 3 good local based pro’s combined with strong, well balanced amateur support.

Worsley Cup Winner

As above – with a combination of luck of the draw.

T20 Winner

Church or Lowerhouse, as they have Lancashire’s leading T20 wicket taker of all time.

Player to watch this season?

Jacob Clarke