Professional contract for Lineker

Matt Lineker has signed a one-year professional contract with Derbyshire.

The Ockbrook & Borrowash left-hander joined the Club on a Summer Contract ahead of the current campaign and – after winning the Second XI Player of the Year Award – he has now been retained for the 2012 campaign.

Lineker, who has been a prolific run scorer in Derbyshire Premier League cricket for several years, scored over 1,000 Second XI runs during the current season before breaking into the First XI and starring with 71 from 163 balls against Kent in the current match.

Head Coach Karl Krikken said: “Matt deserves the opportunity of becoming a professional cricketer in recognition of his prolific and consistent Second XI form throughout the course of the season.

“An impressive half-century against Kent demonstrated that Matt can make the step up to the first-class arena. Now he needs to earn a regular place in the side and show us how good he can be.”

Chairman Chris Grant said: “This contract is exceptionally well deserved on the basis of Matt’s performances in the Second Team and the composure he has shown since making his First XI debut.

“The Matt Lineker story is one that offers encouragement and inspiration to many club cricketers. He kept scoring runs for his club, eventually the opportunity came his way and he has grasped it with both hands.”

Lineker added: “My goal for the 2011 season was always to earn a professional contract so in many ways it is mission accomplished. But the hard work starts now in terms of earning a regular place in the team and proving myself at first-class level.

“With a young and talented squad and an excellent atmosphere within the playing group as a whole, I believe we could be on the verge of some exciting times here at Derbyshire and I’m delighted to be part of it.”