The opening match of the 2019 Vitality Blast campaign will be a very special one for Derbyshire’s longest-serving player, Wayne Madsen, who becomes the first player to play 100 games in the shortest form of the game for the club.
Heritage Officer and Statistician, David Griffin, looks at Madsen’s Twenty20 career, to date.
When Wayne Madsen joined Derbyshire in the summer of 2009, he heralded his arrival with a record-breaking debut score of 170 not out in the second innings of a county championship game against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.
He opened the batting in that game and continued to do so throughout that season, scoring 809 runs at an average of 57.78 with three hundreds and three fifties.
He batted obdurately, defiantly, and with the sort of dogged resolve which has served so many opening batsmen well over the years. He was clearly productive, but despite his prodigious early output in red ball cricket, he was only selected for two of the eight NatWest Pro40 League games at the tail-end of that 2009 season, scoring 42 and nought in his usual position of opener.
However, in the 2009 Twenty20 Cup – as it was then known – Derbyshire’s fixtures had been completed before Madsen made his debut at Cheltenham, so it wasn’t until 2010, at Trent Bridge, that he made his debut in the shortest form of the game.
He batted at number seven – watching from the dugout as Wes Durston made 111 from 59 balls, including a century off just 51 balls – and scored five not out. He didn’t bowl and didn’t take a catch, and only batted a further three times during that campaign.
In 2011, he started well, with back-to-back fifties – home and away – against Durham, and scored one further half century, but his returns in 2012 and 2013 were patchy.
Prior to 2016, Madsen had only bowled 12 balls in his entire Twenty20 career, so while he was a regular selection in the short form side, his performances had yet to reach the heights they subsequently would, although in 2014, he scored 388 runs at a very good Twenty20 average of over 35.
And so, after another relatively patchy 2015 – 169 runs at 18.77 – it might have surprised some when Madsen appeared to suddenly embark on a period of great productivity aligned with some of the most inventive batting ever seen by a Derbyshire batsman.
He peaked in terms of output in 2017 with 526 runs at an almost unheard of Twenty20 average of 47.81, including four fifties plus 13 wickets at an average of 26.61 and it was no surprise when Madsen finished that season as the winner of the PCA Most Valuable Playing Rankings for NatWest T20 Blast.
His four scores of fifty or more in 2017 are a record for the county in the shortest form of the game (shared with Luis Reece), and, reflecting his consistency, they were all scored in consecutive matches.
There have been 13 instances of Derbyshire batsmen scoring 300+ runs in a Twenty20 season; Madsen has done it a record four times. His 2,342 runs are a county record, as are his 31 catches, while 15 scores of 50 or more puts him at the top of that particular list, level with Wes Durston.
Madsen has hit 43 sixes, with only Chesney Hughes and Wes Durston having scored more, and his 21-ball fifty at Leeds in 2018 is the second-fastest ever for Derbyshire.
However, while the figures are excellent, the manner in which Madsen has scored his runs is more impressive. That obdurate red ball batsman has become as inventive and dynamic a batsman as any in the county game with a ramp shot which is both thrilling to watch and highly productive, plus a superb reverse sweep which he plays successfully in all formats of the game.
His fitness levels have always been high, and he should play his 50th consecutive Twenty20 match early on in the competition this summer; and of the current squad, only Alex Hughes has appeared in more than 50 Twenty20 games for the county, although he is some distance behind on 67.
There is a new tournament beckoning in 2020 – The Hundred – and it’s likely that Madsen will feature in that – it would certainly be a major surprise if he doesn’t – but he also looks likely to continue as a mainstay of the Derbyshire side for some time to come. As such, his record-breaking exploits are likely to continue, and it will be a very fine player who one day usurps him as Derbyshire’s most successful Twenty20 cricketer.
Vitality Blast is back this month! Tickets for all seven home matches on sale now, including the big clash against Notts Outlaws on Friday 26 July. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.