Grant plans new leadership strategy at Derbyshire

Derbyshire are on the brink of a major overhaul that could even change the way county cricket clubs are run in this country.

Chairman Chris Grant is to go to the club’s general committee hoping for their approval of a plan that has already been described as “groundbreaking” by members of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

It is part of a strategy, looking at all aspects of the way Derbyshire is run on the playing and business side, that Grant began when he took over as chairman two months ago.

One key aspect of it is the way the first team is managed following the departure of head of cricket John Morris and coach Andy Brown, with Grant suggesting he favours the idea of a “landmark” signing for 2012 – a player or player-coach with a proven top international pedigree to take the club forward alongside captain Luke Sutton.

The top post has already attracted a lot of interest but Derbyshire had planned to wait until the end of the season to decide whether to replace Morris like-for-like or to try a more adventurous approach.

However, it now seems the process could start a lot sooner. “We have got what I think is a carefully thought-out cricket strategy which is really exciting for the future of Derbyshire County Cricket Club,” said Grant.

“I introduced a few of the ideas at a meeting I went to recently and some of them were described at the ECB as groundbreaking. I think other counties will go the same way when we have put the structure in place.

“One of the strands of the plan is to bring in a landmark English or overseas player or a player-coach for 2011 or maybe the next two seasons. That is definitely one option for us to consider.

“We have a list of names that we have discussed and once we have the approval of the committee, we would look to move on from there.”

Grant is looking out for someone who could drive the under-achieving club forward and make an immediate impact in the same way as Justin Langer did for Somerset and is also aware that such a move has proved fruitful for Derbyshire already.

“If you look at Derbyshire in the recent past, having someone like Dean Jones or Eddie Barlow at the club has coincided with periods of relative success,” he said.

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