Make or break week in T20 for Derbyshire

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Derbyshire next week face three games that will make or break their NatWest T20 Blast campaign but Billy Godleman is adamant his team will not be distracted in the County Championship.

With the prospect of reaching the quarter-finals for only a second time, players involved in the T20 have been rested for the day/night game against the West Indian tourists starting at the County Ground tomorrow (Friday).

But Godleman dismissed suggestions that his team had other things on their mind when they were well beaten by Nottinghamshire in the County Championship match or that any future involvement in the T20 will prove a distraction in the four day game.

The return to red ball cricket ended in defeat by an innings and 61 runs despite the loss of four sessions to rain but Derbyshire’s Championship skipper refused to accept next week’s business had been a factor.

“I can’t speak on behalf of individuals but I can speak for myself and the team and the answer to that is an emphatic no,” said Godleman who opens in T20 games.

“We are professional cricketers and are used to adapting from 20 overs, 50 overs and four day cricket and, if anything this year , we’ve had more blocks and extended periods in a certain format so there are no excuses from that side.

“We were ready to play this game but we fell well short with both bat and ball. We’ve definitely played better four day cricket in the nine games compared to last season but if you isolate this game we were exceptionally poor in all departments and that is disappointing.

“There’s been a lot of resources , time and energy put into the T20 campaign as well as the four day format and definitely in T20 cricket we’ve made big strides forward in our improvement and development so it is understandable that is where a lot of people’s focus is.

“But as club captain and captain of the four day team when we do get together in four day cricket it’s my job to make sure I try and create the best conditions for the guys to play to the best of their ability.

“It’s about us taking each game at a time, being really clear on the conditions and the opposition on that day and then going out to play as best we can and the results will looks after themselves.”

Godleman is one of the players who will sit out the game against the tourists which begins at 2pm and is the first game played at Derby with a pink ball.