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Derbyshire hoping to lure Chanderpaul

George Dobell
January 8, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Shivnarine Chanderpaul could join his fourth county in 2013 © AFP
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Derbyshire hope to pull off a coup by signing the world No. 2 Test batsman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, for part of the 2013 season.

Regarded as one of the weaker first-class counties for several years, Derbyshire have enjoyed a resurgence in recent times and were promoted to Division One of the County Championship for the first time in 12 years as champions of Division Two last season.

It was the first time they have achieved promotion having previously contested Division One cricket by default in the first season of split divisions. No other county had experienced so long in the bottom division.

The signing of Chanderpaul would underline the new ambition of the club. Chris Grant, the club chairman appointed in March 2011, swiftly demonstrated his desire to shake things up at the club by sacking John Morris, the long-serving director of cricket, in the middle of a game barely six weeks later. Karl Krikken was appointed in his place and led the side to promotion in his first full season in charge.

Chanderpaul would add solidity to a batting line-up that sometimes appeared fragile in 2012. Derbyshire gained more bowling bonus points than any other side in Division Two but finished only mid-table in terms of batting bonus points.

While the club have a strong unit of seamers, several of their "home grown" young batsmen - the likes of Ross Whiteley and Dan Redfern - are still developing and it was the overseas players, Martin Guptill and Usman Khawaja, who topped the county's batting averages in 2012.

Derbyshire have already added former Essex and Middlesex top-order batsman Billy Godleman and former Warwickshire wicketkeeper Richard Johnson to their staff. Godleman is the latest county player to seek the services of freelance coach and mentor, Neil Burns, who has been credited by Nick Compton and Monty Panesar as the man to have revitalised their careers.

Derbyshire are not the only county interested in signing Chanderpaul. It is understood that he, along with South Africa's Hashim Amla and Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq, is among Worcestershire's targets.

38-year-old Chanderpaul has enjoyed sustained success in his previous stints in county cricket. In 2011 he played for Warwickshire, scoring three centuries and averaging 89.83 in five matches to help the club finish second in the County Championship, and he has had three spells at Durham, helping them to titles in 2008 and 2009 and averaging 58.26 for them in first-class cricket. He also played for Lancashire in 2010.

Meanwhile, Colin Metson, whose appointment as Glamorgan managing director coincided with a turbulent period in the county's affairs, has been sacked after his downgraded role of cricket and community manager was made redundant.

Metson returned to Glamorgan with the county in crisis after the resignation of cricket manager Matthew Maynard, president Peter Walker and captain Jamie Dalrymple because of a managerial restructuring.

But Metson's power was soon on the wane and he was shunted away from first-team duties at the beginning of the 2012 season and given a lesser role in the community development programme. That role has now been made redundant and he will leave Glamorgan at the end of the week.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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