Monday, 31 July 2017

Madsen deserves PCA Cricketer of the Month

There are those in life who get greater recognition than their talent deserves.

Then there are those who get considerably less.

To almost quote Gary Wilson recently, 'I knew Wayne, but I didn't know how good he was'. For Gary you could perhaps substitute the vast majority of the media. They know Wayne Madsen from the scorecard and the newspapers, but they don't know how good he is, because they don't see enough of him. How he makes his runs. The sense of anticipation when he walks out to bat among the Derbyshire faithful.

Because Wayne Madsen is the business.

Were he less talented, we would probably forgive him, because he is such a nice bloke. Always with a word and a smile for supporters and media alike, always with time, no matter what else he has going on in his life. And that's usually a lot, with a young baby and a testimonial year in full spate.

Yet Wayne is supremely talented. If you were to be asked which his best shots are, you would probably need to quantify the answer with 'left or right-handed'?  In his natural way there is the trademark on drive, the ramp, the cover drive. When he reverse hits, the entire leg-side is open to him. He is one of the few who plays the reverse shots gracefully, as if born to it. I guess hockey does that to a man.

He has a career average of 40 in four-day and List A cricket, 29 in T20. The latter wasn't always his thing, but he has improved so much that there's not a part of the 360 degrees of a cricket ground that he cannot score runs. That ramp shot took care of the area over the keepers head, with everywhere else fair game for him.

This year, in the T20 he has been superb. We've never seen batting like it, as the runs have flowed from his bat. 37, 42, 52, 58 not, 86 not, 16, 15 and 49 not. Impressive enough for anyone in the four-day game, yet then you consider his bowling.

He still hasn't gone for ten an over in the competition and his eight wickets and accurate spin have tied down pretty much every side we have met. He will know, like the rest of us who know the game, that one day he will get collared, but the way he is batting, he'll probably knock the runs off anyway..

David Willey, Joe Denly and Alex Hales, all up for the award, have earned international recognition in their careers and could do again. Wayne? At 33 I think he is at his peak, but the kick-back on players who learned their game overseas and his age perhaps mean that an England call may not come. Despite that, there are plenty of recent vintage who are technically less gifted and, if the call came, I doubt he would let anyone down. Especially against spin, where he remains one of the best players in the country.

Last week I asserted that I wouldn't swap Wayne for any other batsman in the country and I stand by that. I doubt there would be many dissenting voices in the peak county that has become his home and where he is most appreciated.

For me, he deserves to be voted Player of the Month in his testimonial year.

If you agree, click here and register your vote for one of the most popular men in the game.

And one of our own.


Anonymous said...

What a player. Have voted. Leading Willey by 33% to 29%

Anonymous said...

A great blog post, Peakfan, one which ALL Derbyshire supporters will agree with fully. Wayne is a class above, on and off the pitch. My own eulogy is that he is the best batsman I've seen in DCCC colours since I started going in '96. If I ever see a better one then I've seen someone VERY special.

He currently leads the way - as I type - with 33% of the vote.

Chris in Shropshire.

Steve H said...

Talented player. So much timing, as he never seems to hit the ball that hard. Australian wickets? Let's hope....

Nic H said...

Remember one shot on Sunday where he effortlessly waited for a ball and drove it late off the back foot with immaculate timing for a single. Off a spinner if I remember rightly.

Knack said...

Second to some as a player, second to none as a man

Angram said...

Totally agree Peakfan - no doubt he could have moved elsewhere for more money and greater recognition, but he is a man of loyalty and integrity, two qualities that are sorely missing these days in cricket (and indeed the world in general). It's an honour and pleasure to have him at Derbyshire.

David Woolley said...

Top player and a top bloke. Had a lovely conversation with Wayne when I met him at my place of work. He had time for everybody.
I was at Worcestershire last year for the RL cup. He played a reverse sweep off one of their spinners. Didn't hit it just caressed it through a gap on leg side to the boundary. Pure timing and ability. That being just one of the great shots i've seen him play over the years.
In my opinion, he is a Derbyshire great.
Long may Wayne reign.

Oliver said...

Done my bit too. He's currently ahead 37%-24%, and fully deserves it. Is the vote binding by the way?

Peakfan said...

It better be Oliver, or we will get the lawyers in...