WHAT a difference a season makes for Hemsworth spinner David Wainwright.
Activating a release clause in his Yorkshire contract after growing frustrated with his lack of first-class action last year, the 27-year-old joined Derbyshire, has played every Championship match so far this year and been a key cog in their rise to the top of Division 2.
His decision to leave Headingley Carnegie wasn’t taken lightly.
But after featuring in just three Championship fixtures last term and being loaned out to Derbyshire, then recalled 24 hours later before again failing to feature for Yorkshire, it was a decision he had to make.
“There was competition at Yorkshire with [Azeem] Rafiq and [Adil] Rashid,” he said.
“I know things have changed around a bit since then but I didn’t want to wait around for my chance to come.”
“I signed a two-year contract with Derbyshire and I don’t really have any pressure on me now. I don’t have to think that if it’s cloudy they’re only going to play one spinner and I’ll be the one to miss out.
“So it eases the pressure on me and I’m enjoying it down here, I think I’ve probably bowled more balls than anyone else in the County Championship so far.”
The former Hemsworth High School student didn’t wait around to make a positive impression on his new club.
The 27-year-old marked his debut with career-best match-winning bowling figures of 6-33 to guide Derbyshire to victory over Northamptonshire.
He’s since followed those figures up with two, five-wicket hauls against Essex and Glamorgan (both 5-51).
“I didn’t expect that to be honest,” he said of his debut performance.
“I just wanted to go out there and get a wicket in my first game and take it from there.
“Luckily I got one in my first innings and it made for a great start, I’ve just maintained that form from there.”
It’s currently Twenty20 season but, barring a big turnaround in fortunes, Wainwright and Derbyshire look set to bow out at the group stages.
They finish their matches against Yorkshire at Headingley on Sunday and Wainwright, who’s hit unbeaten knocks of 15 and 13 in T20 and CB40 matches against his former club this term, as well as taking wickets in both defeats, admits it would be nice to secure a victory at his former home.
“It would be nice to go up there and get a win,” he said.
“It was a nice surprise when I went up there earlier in the season because I got a good reception from the supporters.
“I think I had the fans on my side all the time up there but probably not the selectors.”
Wainwright admits he feared he was “out of the loop” in terms of international cricket.
But a place in the Potential England Performance Programme in Sri Lanka over the winter, coupled with his top county form, should place him in the minds of the selectors.
“When I moved to Derbyshire I was a bit fearful that maybe I’d be off the radar but it was great to be involved over in Sri Lanka,” he said.
“I’m just focusing on Derbyshire but if I keep playing well we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.”
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.