Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Madsen awarded richly deserved benefit

There was a time when cricketers formed an orderly queue, after ten years of service from the award of their cap, to be granted a benefit year or testimonial in recognition of their services.

Looking back at some of the rewards in the old Derbyshire yearbooks, I used to be staggered at what seemed paltry, single figure amounts for club legends. Of course, in the naivety of youth I had not factored inflation into the equation. For each, a sum of in the single-figure thousands would have been the equivalent of around 40-50K today.

Steve Stubbings was the last man to get a benefit from Derbyshire, in 2008, since when our better players have flitted briefly across the cricketing landscape before opting for pastures new and the opportunity for greater reward. Some have gone for financial reasons, others to win trophies. Few, to be fair, have managed the latter and an uncomfortable number have had only a few years elsewhere before drifting from the first-class game.

The announcement today, of a benefit year for Wayne Madsen in 2017, is one with which few will argue. There will have been opportunities, since he made his Derbyshire bow in 2009, to move elsewhere for greater reward. There are not many players of his quality in the first-class game and his talents will have been coveted. I would struggle to name one who I would take over him in the batting line up and most counties would fancy him somewhere between three and five in the order. Yet throughout he has remained loyal to the club that gave him an opportunity, a commodity so rare in the modern game it should have a carat rating.

With 22 more runs required, he could be the first man in the country to the coveted thousand-run mark. Cynics say it is only against division two bowling, conveniently forgetting that he was one of the country's top run scorers in our ill-fated summer in division one in 2013.

As a captain he was steady, if not spectacular, commanding respect because he was the best batsman, an outstanding figurehead for the club and a man with a word for anyone who cares to say hello. In a team of friendly personalities, he still stands out like a beacon.

When considering someone to write a foreword for my recent book, Wayne was an obvious choice to do it. He accepted immediately, saying it was 'an honour' to do so. The honour was all mine, I can assure you and my gratitude remains.

This year, having relinquished the captaincy, he has had his best summer, averaging 65 and again proving to be the wicket the opposition want more than any other. He has bowled more too, turning in some handy spells in all forms of the game, as well as holding his share of catches around the field.

No doubt there is a busy winter ahead for Wayne Madsen, organising a wide range of events with the assistance of a good team of people. If there is any justice, he would be on an overseas tour too, because he is as technically equipped as any batsman in the country.

Time will tell on that, but for now I am sure you will all join me in congratulating a true Derbyshire great on today's news.

Next year, coincidentally, will be my fiftieth in following Derbyshire. Aside from overseas batsmen and Kim Barnett, I've seen no one better.

Congratulations Wayne.

May 2017 be especially memorable for you.

12 comments:

Mark said...

Great words there Peakfan, and if we didn't have Mr.Derbyshire in our side I doubt we'd win any matches at all. He is definitely consistent with his run scoring, and has been a player that our youngsters should look up to with great admiration. Well done Wayne, richly deserved.

Peakfan said...

Hear hear mate!

Tim, Chesterfield said...

John Morris not better? Or even Peter Bowler? Interesting question. The cynic in me says this is a good way of ensuring he doesn't look elsewhere.

Nic H said...

Absolute Derbyshire legend. Defeats hurt worse because he deserves a trophy. He is a fantastic human being too!!

Steve B said...

Peakfan -tell me your memories /thoughts on Kim B's bowling, I'd be facinated to get your view please (and that of others...)

Peakfan said...

No. Very good players but Morris gave it away a lot when he should have gone on. Bowler less dynamic and couldnt have played some of the T20 knocks. Chris Adams good too but not in Madsen class.

Peakfan said...

Kim was a good bowler of leggies and seam who never bowled himself enough. He rarely got collared and put in some good spells. Under another skipper might have bowled more but he was a huge batsman for us. Astonishing how he reeled off tons on green tracks where others struggled...

jasper said...

Richly deserved and great news. I must admit I was half expecting Wayne to move on it's not as if he hasn't had offers but the loyalty he has shown is remarkable even if he and his wife have other ties to this area. Legend!
Personally I would include Morris alongside Barnett and Madsen. There were many times when bowlers and I mean good bowlers simply didn't know where to bowl against John. Yes he could and should have applied himself more instead of just relying on his natural talent. As a batsmen... a Derbyshire legend.

Peakfan said...

Oh without doubt Jasper. His Sunday League ton at Chesterfield the year we won the league was as fine a knock as I ever saw a home reared player make. Wonderful touch that day and many others too.

Peakfan said...

Oh without doubt Jasper. His Sunday League ton at Chesterfield the year we won the league was as fine a knock as I ever saw a home reared player make. Wonderful touch that day and many others too.

Peakfan said...

Oh without doubt Jasper. His Sunday League ton at Chesterfield the year we won the league was as fine a knock as I ever saw a home reared player make. Wonderful touch that day and many others too.

Adam said...

This was the best news of the week for me, a brilliant player and a true gentleman. He always has time for everyone, I remember going to the members forum last year prior to the Kent game and the players went past and Wayne stopped and said morning to everyone going past individually. There has been no better ambassador for the club on or off the field and when that far off day comes, when it's times to hang the bat up, I do hope that he shall find an off the field role at the club if desired.

I have no doubt that it will be a fantastically supported benefit although it will not cover the money he could undoubtedly have earned elsewhere but Wayne's loyalty is no hollow phrase and I only wish that a trophy could complete his 2017!