DateLine: 14th November 2005
Jake Needham is one of the Derbyshire Academy players who coach David Houghton felt was ready for a taste of First team action during the 2005 season. In his debut First-class match against Essex he bowled with composure and kept his head enough to able to take his second wicket just two balls after his first, where as a lot of young players would have been too excited to remain composed. During this match Needham had declined to ring up for his A-level results, deciding instead to give his full attention to the match. In his limited-overs performances he has again shown composure, and Mike Hussey was a notable maiden scalp in this form of the game. He has been a touch on the expensive side so far, though from a rookie off-spinner that is hardly unsurprising, and is not likely to be a long term problem. Needham will start 2006 with a one year professional contract, and his progress will be watched with interest.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)