Pace bowler Tom Taylor is hoping 2016 will be the season he makes his big breakthrough in all three formats of the game for Derbyshire CCC.
The 21-year-old Taylor burst into the first-team during 2014 after rising through the ranks in the Cricket Derbyshire Academy, in partnership with the University of Derby, and is now looking to have his most successful season to date.
“I’d like to focus on all three forms of the game, but a big part of my season will be to break into the one-day team,” said the 21-year-old Taylor.
His immediate future at the club is secure after he signed a contract extension until the end of next year. “Negotiations had been going on a long time but it was nice to get the deal done and signed,” Taylor told the Derbyshire website in a video interview.
Taylor felt he had a “reasonable” season last year but admitted it could have been better. “I played in the first seven games,” he said. “The middle was mixed and a bit of a car crash, but I was pretty happy with the number of wickets I took in those games, and I’d like to kick on this year.”
The Stoke-born Taylor has now played in 15 first-class matches for the county, taking 43 wickets at an average of 32.48.
He is one of a fine crop of youngsters emerging at Derbyshire, of whom big things are expected. “It has been god working with the coaches at the academy,” he said. “The club are going through a period of valuing their home-grown players and it’s nice to be part of that.”
Taylor’s talent has also been recognised by England. During the winter, he worked with the Potential England Performance Programme at Loughborough before going to South Africa, where he also joined up with the England one-day international squad for training sessions.
“I’ve had a very good winter,” he said. “To go out to South Africa was fantastic and it was a really good experience to train with England.”
The trip should also give Taylor a head-start during Derbyshire’s pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, which got under way this week.
He added: “It’s definitely key before the season to get out into the warm weather, especially for bowlers to get some overs under their belts before going into a tough season. We’re all buzzing and can’t wait to get out of the indoor school and on to the pitch.”
Taylor’s maiden first-class wicket came two years ago when he dismissed South African star Hashim Amla against Surrey. He took his first five-wicket haul when Derbyshire beat Gloucestershire.