Whiteley, 35, was a T20 Blast title-winner with Worcestershire (in 2018) and Hampshire (2022), and also helped Southern Brave lift the Hundred trophy in its inaugural season. He becomes Derbyshire’s fifth domestic signing of the off season, following the arrivals of Pat Brown, David Lloyd, Aneurin Donald and Samit Patel.
“Our winter recruitment has been all about bringing a winning mentality to Derbyshire, and Ross absolutely fits that criteria,” Derbyshire’s head of cricket, Mickey Arthur, said. “He’s a player who is used to competing for trophies, he knows what it takes to compete in Division Two and to win white-ball honours.
“Ross is the kind of player you want in those pressure moments, he’s capable of holding his nerve and changing the game, he will give us another bowling option and will bring us a lot in terms of fielding.”
Whiteley came through at Derbyshire and helped the club win the Division Two title in 2012, before moving to Worcestershire a year later. In 2017, he became the second man to hit six sixes in an over in county cricket, when he did so for Worcestershire against Yorkshire in the Blast. He joined Hampshire on a three-year contract following the 2021 season.
Although he has only played first-class cricket sporadically over recent years, he is expected to be available across all three formats for Derbyshire.
Whiteley said: “Derbyshire is where I started my career and I’m excited to have the opportunity to come back at this stage in my career, with everything Mickey is trying to achieve with the club.
“Having played a part in the last trophy Derbyshire won, I know how much it means to the fans here, so hopefully with the experience I’ve gained over the years I can help play a part in pushing for more silverware over the next few years for this great club.
“Along with the exciting talent and experience we already have in this dressing room, the winter recruitment shows the ambitions Derbyshire have in taking this club forward and I’m very excited to be a part of that. Having left Derbyshire in my early 20s, I feel I have unfinished business here and I want to bring success back to the county.”