Rampaul signed by Derbyshire for remainder of Vitality Blast
Derbyshire have re-signed Ravi Rampaul, who was the leading wicket-taker in the 2019 Vitality Blast, for their final three group games in this year’s competition and the duration of the Royal London Cup.
Rampaul, the 36-year-old fast bowler, spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons at Derbyshire as a Kolpak registration, but did not return last summer due to restrictions on international travel and finances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the winter, he was Trinidad and Tobago’s leading wicket-taker in their run to the Regional Super50 domestic competition title and played for Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10. He has since been recruited by Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL for this season, his first contract in the competition since 2017.
Derbyshire are bottom of the Blast’s North Group with three games to spare, and will need to win all three to have a chance of qualifying. They have struggled badly with injuries this season, particularly to their fast bowlers, and have had to recruit Jade Dernbach on a short-term loan from Surrey as cover.
Rampaul will be their second overseas player for the run-in alongside Logan van Beek, with Ben McDermott (international duty) and Billy Stanlake (stress fracture) both ruled out before the start of the group stage.
They will also be without key three players during the Royal London Cup due to contracts in the Hundred – Matt Critchley, Luis Reece and Leus du Plooy – while Wayne Madsen has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. While Rampaul is unlikely to add cover for their batting ability, he brings experience to a young bowling line-up.
Dave Houghton, the club’s director of cricket, said: “It’s a blow for us that we will lose some quality players for the Royal London Cup, but we’re proud of the players who have been selected for the Hundred.
“We will get by, and we’ve brought in a top-level bowler to help us out with that. We will put out a competitive side. It’s a great opportunity for some of our players who specialise in white-ball cricket – we have to hope the best will come out of them.
“I’ve always felt that we had some unfinished business. Ravi had such a good season in 2019 – he was club player of the year – but we lost him for a year due to the pandemic. Our bowlers have come on leaps and bounds this year, but to have someone of Ravi’s ability and class opening and closing the innings for us, which is something we’ve missed this season, is going to be fantastic.”
Rampaul said: “I loved my first spell with Derbyshire and I’m looking forward to getting started again in familiar surroundings. I know most of the players still, and there’s a few new faces who are really exciting young players. If I can help them along in training and in games, I will do that, and hopefully we can get on a roll and challenge for the knockouts.” (ESPNcricinfo)