Derbyshire begin their 16th season of Twenty20 cricket with a home fixture against Lancashire Lightning at The 3aaa County Ground, on Friday 6 July.
Heritage Officer, David Griffin, looks at some of the statistical highlights from 2017, as well as several approaching milestones.
Derbyshire enter the 2018 campaign on the back of their most successful season in the shortest format of the game in 2017. Supervised by former Derbyshire greats, John Wright and Dominic Cork, Derbyshire won eight North Group games last year, finishing second and securing a home quarter-final.
Derbyshire also reached the same stage of the competition in 2005, but the group stages only featured eight matches, of which Derbyshire won four.
The 2017 season saw a host of Derbyshire records broken, including several by Wayne Madsen who, in scoring 522 runs, became the first Derbyshire player to pass the 500-run mark in one season, and who scored four half-centuries – consecutively – to become the first Derbyshire player to perform that feat.
Luis Reece, who also passed 50 on four occasions, scored 417 runs, meaning that two Derbyshire players passed the 400-run mark in a season for the first time.
Imran Tahir took 17 wickets, another record for Derbyshire, surpassing the 16 by Tim Groenewald in 2010, as four bowlers took 10 or more wickets (Tahir, Henry, Viljoen and Madsen), a feat only achieved once previously, in 2010 (Groenewald, Smith, Langeveldt and Jones).
Alex Hughes took 10 outfield catches in 2017 – only Greg Smith, with 11 in 2009, has taken more in a season, and behind the stumps, Daryn Smit took nine catches, one less than Tom Poynton’s record set in 2013.
There are some milestones approaching, the majority for Madsen, who, if he plays all 14 group games in 2018, will become the first Derbyshire player to appear in 100 T20 matches. His 86 appearances is already a record for Derbyshire, and he also seems certain to surpass Wes Durston’s career aggregate of 2,114 runs, currently standing just 100 runs in arrears.
The career record for outfield catches should also be broken – Wes Durston tops the list with 29, but Madsen is currently on 28, and Alex Hughes on 23.
There are several players who are expected to make their debuts for the county in the opening Vitality Blast fixture; Lachlan ‘Lockie’ Ferguson, Calum MacLeod and Wahab Riaz have all played international cricket and will become the 100th, 101st and 102nd international cricketers to appear for Derbyshire.
Ferguson will be the eighth New Zealand-born cricketer to play for the county, MacLeod the third Scotland-born – and the first since Richard Sale Snr in 1908, and Riaz will be the 11th Pakistan-born cricketer to represent Derbyshire.
Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire Falcons host seven Twenty20 games this July and August. Purchase your tickets in advance and save from £4. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.