David Wainwright (left) and Wayne Madsen could have an impact on the match © Getty Images
As India take on Derbyshire in a tour game played at Derby County ground, Bharath Ramaraj has a sneak peek into their line-up.
Despite the history of cricket in Derbyshire dating back to the early 1750s, they have won the County Championship only once, and that came as far back as 1936. In the 1990s, they had a good seam attack, especially when Phil Defreitas left Lancashire at the end of the 1994 season to join the likes of Devon Malcolm and Dominic Cork to make up one of the finest pace attacks going around in County cricket. In 1996, they did finish a credible second, but since then it has been a largely uphill struggle for them.
When two divisions were introduced, Derbyshire were languishing most of the time in the lower rungs of second Division. It was only in 2012 when the Derbyshire unit became a picture of consistency in Division two, and progressed to Division one. It was a season when under the affable captaincy of Wayne Madsen, Derbyshire players played with unwavering devotion and diligence to lift their game and help them bring the silverware, as they won Division two Championship. Unfortunately, despite playing with guts and determination, the sun didn’t shine brightly on Derbyshire in Division one, and they were relegated back to Division two.
As Derbyshire take on the Indians in a tour game at Derby County ground, here is a sneak peek into a few key players in their squad:
Wayne Madsen: Madsen hails from South Africa. He was a regular member of the KwaZulu-Natal unit before moving over to England for greener pastures by 2008. Madsen has been a prolific run-getter for Derbyshire and has shepherded them through tough times of pain and agony as captain. In 2012, he wrote a glorious chapter in Derbyshire’s cricket history by leading them to a Division two Championship triumph.
Even though Derbyshire supporters were heartbroken that they weren’t able to sustain that performance in Division one, Madsen endeared himself to their faithfuls with his one-pointed focus of scoring runs. He notched up more than 1,000 runs in the season. Madsen isn’t pretty to watch. He sets himself to play through the covers and has a tendency to just plonk his front-foot and look to drive. For Madsen, it is all about using his willow like a sword and shield to stand up to the bowlers and amass runs. When the Derbyshire house is burning down, he is the man for the crisis.
Mark Foottit: Foottit came through the Nottinghasmhire ranks and was known for his ability to generate serious pace. However, the left-arm pacer has been let down by injuries. He then moved over to Derbyshire in 2010. When Derbyshire were promoted to Division one, he was one of the few players who raised their game. Even this season, he has been among the wickets. If he isn’t rested, the Indian batsmen have to watch out for him.
David Wainwright: Wainwright started his career at Yorkshire, but moved over to Derbyshire due to a lack of opportunities to play First-Class cricket. With his slow left-arm orthodox, he troubled the batsmen in the 2012 season and played a key part in helping Derbyshire to progress to Division one. He is also a useful lower-order batsman. In fact, Wainwright is the only batsman averaging over 40 for Derbyshire this season.
Tony Palladino: The former Essex cricketer can raid opposition ranks by consistently hitting good lengths. If there is a green tinge of grass, he can take a slew of wickets. On occasions, he can also hold his own with the bat, lower down the order. Palladino is also famous for being the whistle-blower in the Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Wetfield spot-fixing case.
Other key players in the Derbyshire line-up include; Bily Godleman and Paul Borrington. Their overseas players are Marcus North and the West Indian great, Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Chanderpaul though, was playing for the West Indies against New Zealand in the recently-concluded Test series.
As Derbyshire take on India in the tour game, it has to be remembered that it has been a tough season for them, as there has been an exodus of players, and Stephen Moore has announced his retirement. To make it worse, Tom Poynton, the promising wicketkeeper-batsman met with an accident in April. From their point of view, Derbyshire can hopefully put up a fine show in the tour game.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)