DateLine: 14th November 2005
Nick Walker’s first season with Derbyshire was a rare bright spot in a miserable campaign. His bowling was typically rookie raw, but it was also enthusiastic and not without skill. He took four wickets in his first ever First-class bowl, on a typically flat Taunton wicket. However, it is Walker’s batting which contains the most stardust. A stupendous six off Shane Warne in just his third match showed that Derbyshire had a player who wouldn’t be overawed by anyone. He followed that with a brutal assault in the return against Somerset, where he took 11 fours and 4 sixes off an attack containing Andy Caddick, Richard Johnson and Nixon McLean. This led to a sustained experiment of sending Walker in to pinch hit in limited-overs matches, with limited success. He was initially confounded by his desire to seemingly smear every ball he faced for six, although he then embarked on an equally unsuccessful policy of batting to the tempo of block-block-block-swipe-out. After an erratic 2005 season, in which his bowling didn’t seem to progress, (and where he only once embarked on one of his uniquely destructive innings), Walker was only offered a month by month deal for 2006, and his future remains uncertain. As a bowler capable of bowling quickly and taking wickets at county level, (and with as clean an eye as their in the Derbyshire squad), Walker clearly has the potential to be a useful First-class cricketer. However, it is also possible that he may drift out of the County game without having fulfilled his talents.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)