Captain Billy Godleman has given a vote of confidence to new-look Derbyshire’s plans for improvement by signing an extension to his contract.
After finishing rock bottom of the Specsavers County Championship in 2016 and pulling up few trees in one-day cricket, Derbyshire are desperate for a better season this year under new director of cricket Kim Barnett.
So they are delighted that Godleman, who will lead the side in the Championship and the Royal London One-Day Cup, has committed his long-term future to the club by agreeing to stay until the end of the 2019 season.
“Billy has a big responsibility this summer within our new coaching model, and he is, without question, the right man for it,” said Barnett.
“He leads from the front, opens the batting and has the respect of the players. I feel we are lucky to have him.”
The 27-year-old Godleman has made 46 first-class appearances for Derbyshire since joining the club in 2013, scoring 2,763 runs at an average of 34, including seven centuries and a career-best 204.
“I am really pleased to commit my future to the club,” he said. “It is fantastic news. It’s really nice to have the backing and support of the club and I plan to repay them with hard work, both behind the scenes and leading the team out in the summer.”
One of Godleman’s first tasks will be to help find a replacement for batsman Neil Broom, who has returned to New Zealand one year early to pursue a return to international cricket. Talks with Barnett and the senior management at the club are ongoing, but for now, Godleman is concentrating on pre-season training, which started last week.
“Since we got back, it has been intense,” he said. “We have been focusing on cricketing skills but soon, it will get more competitive with batters versus bowlers.
“I have already started thinking about the first game. I am excited and looking forward to the season coming.”