Sincere thanks to John Phair of Unsworth Cricket Club in the Central Lancashire League, who sent me this terrific piece in praise of Wayne Madsen's contribution to the club.
It says a lot for the guy and although, as I said earlier, he just failed to reach the 2,000 run barrier, his was an extraordinary season. Here's John's article - thanks again John!
"71 is the magic number
The last First XI game of the season approaches and with it the final game in Unsworth colours for Wayne and DJ.
A significant milestone is in the offing as currently Wayne has scored 1929 runs for Unsworth this season in all competitions and hopefully he will get the 71 runs required to reach the magic 2000 run mark. The older ones amongst us will have to look back through the record books to see if this feat has been achieved before, by any other players in the CLL.
Good luck to Wayne and DJ in the last game of the season and please turn out to either the game or the festivities after, when we bid them adieu.
I thought I would take this opportunity to have a quick look back at Waynes achievements over the past few seasons.
When Wayne arrived at the club we all new he was capable of playing cricket. What we didn’t know was how good that ability was to become. Wayne flew in to our lives in April 2007 and made an immediate impact – caught and bowled for 6 against Crompton! Not the best of starts even he would admit. It didn’t take too long for us to see a bit more of the cavalier in him, when the following week he scored 96 (caught and bowled again) and took 4 for 36 in 16 overs against Middleton.
We had to wait until the end of May before we were celebrating his maiden century in the CLL, with 113 not out against Heywood on May 27. In fact that weekend he also scored 68 not out against Royton.
This set the scene for the remainder of the season, with centuries against Monton, Clifton, Oldham and Walsden, and half centuries against Littleborough, Royton, Werneth, Monton, Milnrow, Heywood and Rochdale. To finish the year off with 1227 runs at an average of 94.38 and 55 wickets in 277 overs an average of 17.42.
2008, saw the return of Wayne to the CLL and with an opening day 59 against Rochdale was this the portent of things to come? We managed to play more fixtures this year but the damper wickets seemed to take their toll on the South African Musketeer, that and the fact that most of our opponents had seen the reverse sweep the previous year and had learned to guard against it. Even so, May proved to be a fruitful month with 3 50’s and 2 tons to yield 485 runs. Then the rains set in. June brought 289 runs with 3 50’s, July garnered 314 runs, including the biggest CLL score of the season, 154 not out against Rochdale and August/September saw just 175 runs over the four games played.
Bad year? Well the average was down slightly, but Wayne still managed to accumulate 1263 runs and finished 2nd in the CLL batting averages losing out by less than ½ a run. So, not bad really.
We’ve always maintained that it takes time to come to terms with English Club cricket, especially for players from warmer climes. Our ‘temperate’ weather, generally has a fair amount of rain around – which most of us hope will descend during the winter – makes the wickets a little slower and harder to ‘get the ball away’. That combined with the idiosyncrasies of some grounds, can make things take a bit of time to get to know.
We hoped for great things in 2009, and we were not too disappointed. The first three games saw Wayne facing Middleton, Walsden and Rochdale and surprisingly, only one 50! Normal service was soon resumed and May saw clubs from all around the league searching for balls as Wayne bludgeoned 522 runs including 3 tons. The highest score being 131 not out against Crompton. June and July saw Wayne only achieving three figures once, 116 against Milnrow, but 6 fifties helped add 714 runs to the total.
Having scored as many runs as the previous two seasons with a month to go, Wayne set himself a new target – 2000 runs. It needed a big month! Rain washed out the first two games of the month, then came an 80 against Clifton, 59 against Werneth followed by a massive 156 not out at home against Rochdale. Just short of the clubs all-time record. An innings against Middleton added 41 runs, but then came a mighty innings against Werneth. Fourteen fours and six sixes saw a total of 167 not out to break the clubs batting record, followed by 104 not out against Walsden. Target in sight.
So at the time of writing Friday September 11, we have one game to go and we’ll all gather to watch and see whether Wayne is successful in his goal of 2000 in a season.
And now the disappointment. We had hoped to have Wayne returning for one more season with us, but unfortunately (for us) , Derbyshire CC have also realised his potential and he has signed a 2 year contract to play county cricket with them for the 2010 season onwards. He has played a number of innings for Derbyshire this season and his prowess with the bat has continued, scoring 170 not out on his debut – a record for Derbyshire debutants. So sadly as a season draws to a close we must wish Wayne all the best for the coming years and no doubt a number of his fans here at Unsworth will continue to watch and admire his progress on the county scene.
Good Luck Wayne and thanks for all your efforts over the last 3 years."
Brilliant stuff and confirms what a terrific talent we have acquired.
Just make sure the next guy you sign is as good John - and that he has a European passport...
Oh - and you WILL let us know, won't you!