Redfern looks to learn from Shiv
DERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND - Derbyshire batsman Dan Redfern believes a sprinkling of Caribbean class can help take his game to the next level.
Redfern and his team-mates, who won Division Two last season, have welcomed West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul into the squad for their first top-flight campaign since 2000.
Chanderpaul, aged 38, below, has amassed 10,830 runs in 148 Tests, making 28 centuries along the way.
And fellow left-hander Redfern says having a player of that repute in the Derbyshire team can only be beneficial to their hopes of establishing themselves in Division One.
The 23-year-old Leycett player has already seen first hand what the Guyana star can do, with the pair having shared a 49-run partnership in their draw at Warwickshire last week.
"It's massive for us to have Shiv. He's been at Warwickshire and Durham and speaking to people on our pre-season tour of Barbados, they told us he was brilliant," said Redfern.
"He's always willing to help and offer advice to the younger lads. It's fantastic to be stood at the other end to him and see how he operates. You can only learn from a player of his calibre.
"That's what happens when you get into Division One. The top players want to play there and we want to get the best players.
"Since I first started, the management have opted to develop home-grown players and have shown their faith in the young lads by getting them on long contracts.
"We now have a squad we want to keep together and the senior players have also stayed, so there is a nice mix. And adding players like Shiv as well shows how we're progressing.
"The squad are all together and pulling in the same direction to make sure we stay in Division One."
Redfern, who signed a new three-year deal in October, overcame a broken finger to play in the opening game against Warwickshire after clocking up the air miles in his preparation.
He spent the winter at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide, before jetting out to Barbados for Derbyshire's pre-season tour.
"It was great to experience different conditions in Australia and you can't help but have a good time," he added.
"They take it very seriously and the level I played at was one below their A grade.
"I came back in December, but we didn't pick up a bat until the new year, it's all fitness work.
"There was a bit of work on the bowling machine, but it all intensified as the season drew nearer."
Redfern cut an impressive figure in Derbyshire's middle order last season, scoring 792 runs.
He also notched his maiden hundred against Northamptonshire, and then added 133 at Hampshire. He also scored eight half-centuries.
And he's set his sights on repeating the feat in Division One.
"Every batsman wants to go for the 1,000 runs, but you can't put pressure on yourself," he added. "To give yourself the best chance, you just want to make the most of your opportunities when they come along, and by the end of the season, the runs will have stacked up.
"That's what I want to do; when I'm in, I want to bat long and kick on.
"If I do that, the stats will back that up at the end of the season."