Derbyshire bolster batting options for Royal London Cup

Derbyshire have signed Academy prospect Mitch Wagstaff until the end of the Royal London Cup group stage.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 1:31 pm
Derbyshire have bolstered their batting options.

The top-order batsman, 17, has been in good form for the Cricket Derbyshire Academy, in partnership with the University of Derby, having scored 597 runs, including four half-centuries and one century. He comes straight into the squad to face Glamorgan tomorrow.

Wagstaff’s form led him to be selected for the ECB Super Fours earlier this week, with the youngster featuring as the Midlands side beat North under 18s. He also has experience of playing at The Incora County Ground, scoring a half-century in the pre-season friendly against Cardiff UCCE.

While his previous success within the Academy setup has come with the bat, Wagstaff has become an established asset with the ball this season, leading the wicket-taking charts with his leg spin, claiming 26 dismissals at an average of 16.04.

In signing his deal, Wagstaff becomes the seventh current first team player to have come through the Academy, alongside Alex Hughes, Harvey Hosein, Sam Conners, Tom Wood, Nils Priestley and Nick Potts.

Head of Cricket, Dave Houghton, said: “There are a lot of talented prospects within our Academy setup, but Mitch has been the standout player this season. We’re in close contact with Daryn Smit, so we know what’s going on with the youngsters at all times, and we’re really enthused by what we’ve heard and seen of Mitch.

“We have a small squad, we’ve lost players through injury and to The Hundred, but the positive is that we can give our young players a chance. Mitch will benefit from any opportunity he gets to face experienced players, and at just 17, it will be a big step up for him, but one we think he can handle.”

Wagstaff added: “As a local lad and an Academy player, this is the kind of opportunity you work so hard for and it’s really nice to know it’s led to something. We’ve got a great group in the Academy, and there’s a few in the first team who we can look up to because they’ve made the same journey.

“Now it’s about getting my head down and trying to impress. I know it’ll be a challenge, but I think the best way to get better is to challenge yourself, so hopefully I can contribute to some wins for my club.”