Barnett excited by Derbyshire Falcons’ new T20 signing Matt Henry

Kim Barnett, who says he is confident Derbyshire Falcons will be very competitive in this summers NatWest T20 Blast.
Kim Barnett, who says he is confident Derbyshire Falcons will be very competitive in this summers NatWest T20 Blast.

Supremo Kim Barnett has spoken of his excitement after Derbyshire snapped up another big-name signing for the 2017 season.

Fast bowler Matt Henry, whose reputation is soaring across the world, has been signed for the Falcons’ NatWest T20 Blast campaign.

The 25-year-old New Zealander will form a potentially lethal three-pronged attack alongside South African duo Hardus Viljoen and Imran Tahir. And director of cricket Barnett is now confident Falcons will be “very competitive” in the Blast this summer.

“We are delighted that Matt has decided to join us,” he said. “The plan of our new T20 specialist coach, John Wright, is to bowl well and keep scores down, and Matt will give us another element to our attack.

“With Matt, Hardus and Imran, plus the other decent bowlers we have, we hope to be able to keep sides to low totals this summer.”

Wright was able to use his own New Zealand connections to tempt Henry to Derbyshire. The bowler, who has previous county cricket experience with Worcestershire, has featured in six T20 and 30 one-day internationals for the Black Cats. He has bagged 58 wickets in ODIs at an average of 25, and his T20 prowess has earned him a much-coveted place in the renowned Indian Premier League (IPL) next month.

“Hopefully, he will pick up and learn stuff over there,” said Barnett. “Matt comes highly recommended, and we are delighted to have such a balanced and potent attack. You do need some depth to your bowling, and we have plenty of all-rounders too.

“John’s bottom line is to keep teams to low scores. Obviously it will vary from day to day and pitch to pitch, but he thinks you can’t win T20 matches without bowling well.

“I know some of our members are a bit worried about the strength of our batting, but I have seen what we have and I am confident about that too.

“We have more than 20 players in our squad now who are highly talented.”