Head coach Karl Krikken will not be looking to bring another wicketkeeper on to the Derbyshire staff following the loss of Luke Sutton.
Sutton, skipper and the first choice behind the stumps for the county last season, announced his retirement this week and that means 22-year-old Tom Poynton will get an earlier chance than planned to take over.
Poynton, an academy product and former England Under-19 player, has little first team experience, although he took the gloves for the last four Clydesdale Bank 40 matches of last season, but Krikken says he has no hesitation in making the Burton-born player his number one wicketkeeper.
“Tom has done well over the last few years. He did a good job in the one-dayers last season and had a couple of good innings,” said Krikken, who made more than 400 appearances as Derbyshire wicketkeeper and shaped Poynton’s development in his previous role as academy director.
“It was always going to be the case that Tom took the gloves in time and that time has come sooner than we thought. Ideally, he could have done with another year but I think he will do us a good job now that he’s got his chance.
“You mature as a wicketkeeper. You learn your trade and you get better. He works hard at his game, he is a popular member of the squad with the support of all the lads and I’m sure that Tom will kick on.
“The next couple of years will be big for him and maybe he will make mistakes but he will learn from them and he will develop into a good county wicketkeeper.”
Poynton’s elevation fits in perfectly with Derbyshire’s policy of driving home-grown talent through to the first team but Krikken says he has not been short of alternative offers since Sutton announced he was quitting.
“I have had the world and his wife on the phone over the last couple of days offering wicketkeepers, from old stagers to young pups,” he added.
“There are people out of the game who are champing at the bit to get back in and we won’t be short of options. We will have a look and choose the person we want to have on stand-by just in case anything goes wrong.”
Though Krikken will look through his options to identify the wicketkeeper he could draft in should Poynton pick up an injury in the early part of the season, another academy product, 19-year-old Chris Durham, will have his chance to establish himself as the first-choice cover for Poynton by playing regularly for the second team.