Three months after he was at the centre of county cricket’s shortest loan spell, David Wainwright has joined Derbyshire on a longer-term deal.
The 26-year-old left-arm spinner has become their first signing of the close-season, signing a two-year deal following his decision to leave Yorkshire.
Wainwright was signed on loan by Derbyshire at the beginning of July but was recalled by Yorkshire less than 24 hours later without playing a game because Azeem Rafiq suffered a hamstring injury in a Friends Life t20 match.
He left Yorkshire at the end of the season when he exercised a clause in his contract that allowed him to request his release if he was not getting regular first-team cricket.
Wainwright was a feature of the side for most of the last two months of the season but, with Rafiq’s return to fitness and further competition in the spin department from Adil Rashid, he clearly feels he will be back down the Headingley pecking order again.
The Pontefract-born bowler, who played three times for England Lions against Pakistan A in Dubai in 2010, made 29 first-class appearances for Yorkshire following his County Championship debut in 2004.
He took 69 wickets at a 35.94 average, with a career-best 6 for 40 against Durham MCCU last season, and is a more than useful batsman with two first-class centuries and an average of 36.56 for Yorkshire. He has also played for Loughborough MCCU and British Universities.
Wainwright has been more of a feature in limited-overs matches for the White Rose county, with 48 List A and 26 Twenty20 appearances.
Head coach Karl Krikken worked with Wainwright during an ECB coaching assignment in India last winter and is a big admirer of the bowler’s abilities.
“There are a few decent spinners around domestically right now and I think David is up there with the best of the bunch,” he said.
“He will be our number one spinner and I hope that will give him the confidence to really kick on. Over the next three or four years, I think he will be at the peak of his powers as a bowler and he strengthens our middle-order batting as well as a real option at six, seven or eight.”
Derbyshire lost one of their spin options when Greg Smith was released at the end of the season and may not see much of 18-year-old left-arm prospect Tom Knight next season if he is part of England Under-19s preparations for the World Cup in Australia.
Jake Needham has been beset by technical problems but Krikken remains hopeful the academy product, 25 this week, will overcome his issues.
“We have given Jake a couple of months completely off and when you are away from bowling for that long, it can almost be like starting from new again,” he added.
“We’ll see if we can rebuild his action in November and December and hopefully get him back to how he was a couple or three years ago.”