A £200,000 carrot is being dangled in front of Derbyshire’s players this season as the result of a lucrative new incentive scheme set up by local businessman Peter Gadsby.
Success in all three domestic competitions would see that amount added to the players’ existing prize money by Mr Gadsby’s Ark Capital Group of property and investment companies with £100,000 for winning the Friends Life t20 competition which starts next month, £50,000 for winning the LV = County Championship Second Division title and £50,000 for lifting the Clydesdale Bank 40 over trophy, in which they have made a promising start.
The players do not need to make clean sweep of trophies to boost their bonus pool, however, since the new scheme also offers payments for finishing runners-up in the three competitions and for finishing as the losing semi-finalists in the twenty and forty over tournaments.
Mr Gadsby, who played for Derbyshire at Colts and age group level and has a long affiliation with the County and with local cricket, said: “It is a novel opportunity for the players and the more I have to pay out, the happier I will be.
“We wanted to make the scheme realistic so we have scaled payments from the bottom up and made it possible for reasonably attainable levels of achievement to be rewarded.
“The players benefit from having extra incentives and the club benefits because this sort of scheme will inevitably make it more attractive to new talent as they try to achieve higher standards on the field.
“The new chairman, Chris Grant, has already demonstrated his commitment and I wanted to support him and what he is trying to do to kick start things at the County Ground after a bad year on and off the pitch.
“I know he is hoping that other local businessmen, who may not as yet have any association with the club, will look at the opportunities available at Derbyshire County Cricket Club.
“I have been a club sponsor for many years and this new incentive scheme is in addition to the already existing forms of support provided by two of my companies, Radleigh Homes and Miller Birch.”
This will not be the first time the former Derby County chairman has put up cash for success at the County Ground. He was Derbyshire’s main sponsor in 1993 and put up bonus payments when they beat Lancashire in the final of the Benson & Hedges Cup so the omens for the new scheme are good.
Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton greeted the new incentives as “a shot in the arm for everybody in the club” .
He added: “It is not just the additional prize money that benefits the players. The knowledge that a major figure in the local business community is committed to supporting you is also important in helping to create good morale.
“A similar scheme was in operation at Old Trafford when I played for Lancashire so I know from experience how much it is appreciated and how much difference it can make in the dressing room. It represents a great opportunity for the players.”
Derbyshire chairman Chris Grant said: “This is a major boost for Derbyshire after a difficult week in which hard decisions had to be made in order to point the club towards greater long-term success on the field.
“We all want to see improved results and this scheme is both generous and realistic in that it provides incentives for realistically achievable levels of progress.”
Last week coach John Morris and assistant Andy Brown were released from their contracts after what has been described as an uprising of ‘player power’.
For the rest of the season, the team will be run by captain Luke Sutton and three former players Karl Krikken, Steffan Jones and Tony Borrington.