South African cricketers have often excelled in England’s County Championship, but Wayne Madsen is a player usually overlooked by the media and fans alike.
The successes of former Proteas Simon Harmer, Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott are among prevalent examples of South Africans who have made their mark on the County circuit, while Dean Elgar’s September stint with Surrey and Hashim Amla’s time at Hampshire are current illustrations.
South Africans on the County circuit who haven’t played international cricket include Leicestershire’s Colin Ackermann, Derbyshire’s Daryn Smit and Wayne Madsen. Players of their standing are equally relevant when it comes to acknowledging the impact South African players have had in England.
Madsen was part of KwaZulu-Natal and Durban’s respective provincial and franchise campaigns until 2007, and he has since forged a successful first-class career in the United Kingdom.
In fact, the 34-year-old right-hander finished second only to former England batsman Ian Bell in the 2018 County Championship Division Two’s run-scoring ranks. He struck 1,016 in 27 innings, outscoring Warwickshire’s Jonathan Trott and Middlesex’s Dawid Malan, among others.
Late July’s telling century against Northamptonshire at Queen’s Park in Chesterfield spoke volumes of Madsen’s key standing in an arguably over-reliant Derbyshire middle-order. He scored one other century – and seven half-tons – during the 2018 County Championship Division Two. On the other side of the runs spectrum, four ducks certainly played a part in Madsen failing in his bid to beat Bell’s runs tally.
Madsen was also reasonably central to Derbyshire’s success in the Royal London One Day Cup and Vitality T20 Blasts campaigns. At the end of the season Madsen was honoured by being named the county’s Player of the Year for a record fourth time, having recently signed a new three-year contract with Derbyshire.
Durban-born Madsen comes from a strong cricketing family, including uncles Trevor Madsen and Henry Fotheringham.