Fletcher wins Derbyshire loan deal

Luke Fletcher’s impatience with his lack of opportunity at Nottinghamshire, increasingly evident last season, has resulted in him joining Derbyshire on a month’s loan.

Fletcher, whose prowess in white-ball cricket has not translated recently into regular opportunities in Championship cricket, will be available for Derbyshire’s first five Specsavers Championship fixtures, starting with Sunday’s Division Two encounter with Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Fletcher said: “It’s an opportunity to play some four day games, take wickets, hopefully contribute to victories for Derbyshire and ultimately push my case to find a way back into the Nottinghamshire team.”

Fletcher spent a period on loan at Surrey last summer and contributed to their Division Two title win. He is regarded as one of the best T20 death bowlers in the country, although his fitness levels have occasionally come under scrutiny.

Derbyshire’s elite performance director, Graeme Welch said: “We have a lot of cricket coming up over the next month and we want to ensure we have all bases covered.

“Luke is a skilful bowler who has plenty of experience taking wickets for Notts in Division One. He will bolster our attack during this busy period and it will also be an opportunity for him to get some regular first team cricket.”

Derbyshire have bolstered their ranks this season with the signings of Andy Carter, Tom Milnes, Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford and with a promising crop of younger players a year older Welch expects progress.

“In the last two years we maybe looked a bit inexperienced with people batting two or three places too high, but that top order looks like it has a lot of runs in it now,” he said. “We look to have more of a competitive edge and I think the way we play our cricket will be a little more steely.

Welch suggested that the departure of Mark Footitt, their premier strike bowler, to Surrey would force the rest of the squad to take responsibility. “Last year we just chucked the ball to Footy all the time and I think the rest of the bowlers got into a negative mindset that he will get all the wickets and we’ll just bowl dot balls.”

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