Six members of the Derbyshire squad have been sent to India as part of their preparations for the new cricket season.
Paul Borrington, Dan Redfern, Jake Needham, Tom Poynton, Matt Lineker and Peter Burgoyne are to spend nine days training at the international cricket centre in Pune, led by second team coach AJ Harris.
Head coach Karl Krikken saw the facilities for himself when he coached an England development squad in Pune last year and also saw the benefits the players took from the trip.
“Three of the lads who made that trip last year were Chris Nash, Tom Maynard and Rory Hamilton-Brown and it’s no coincidence that they all went on to have very good seasons,” said Krikken.
“It is a very good place to bowl and bat against spin, with a dozen grass nets that grip and turn and net bowlers on tap that will bowl at you all day.
“The batsmen are going to be able to bat for two or three hours a day on turning wickets and that is great experience for them. The bowlers will get the chance to bowl for long spells in good weather and it will be helpful for Tom Poynton keeping wicket against spin as well.
“They will probably play a couple of games while they are out there and there’s a gym and swimming pool on site as well. The facilities are just magnificent.”
The trip will be paid for out of the specialist coaching fund that chairman Chris Grant set up last year and Krikken says it could become a regular part of their pre-season preparations. “Hopefully, if it goes well we will be looking to take more players out there next year,” he added.
David Wainwright, the left-arm spinner signed at the end of last summer from Yorkshire, was originally meant to be part of the Derbyshire party travelling to India but he is now in Sri Lanka as part of a Potential England Performance Programme three-week training camp.
The trip, for players considered to be on the edge of England squads, will also include a couple of first-class fixtures.
“In an ideal world, you want to be playing first-class cricket, especially as a spin bowler, and hopefully he’ll come back to us fit and strong,” added Krikken.
All the players will be back in Derby by mid-February to get ready for the club’s pre-season trip to Barbados from March 16-28.