This week has been like the week following Christmas for Derbyshire fans, a week of presents and excitement that they will just not want to stop. Like moving from one family member to another getting a different present at each one, this week has seen Derbyshire fans move from day to day with a new announcement about the season ahead.
Tuesday saw the announcement of New Zealand international Jimmy Neesham as the second overseas player for the Natwest T20 Blast season; Wednesday saw the announcement of young fast bowler Tom Taylor’s contract extension and today sees the announcement of a three year contract extension for club captain Wayne Madsen.
The deal commits the 32-year-old, who joined Derbyshire in 2009 and was appointed Club Captain in 2012, to the county for the next four seasons.
Madsen has been a vital part of Derbyshire’s batting line-up, scoring over 1,500 runs across all forms in the last three campaigns – including 1,000 first-class runs in each. A return which has seen some quarters questioning his exclusion from ECB Performance and Lions squads.
Elite Performance Director Greame Welch is clearly delighted about Madsen committing his future to the club saying, “Wayne has been a consistent performer across all forms and continues to perform as a model professional both on and off the field.
Welch added, “He has made massive contributions in both the first-class and one-day formats, scoring heavily in all three competitions and leading from the front. There is still more to come from Wayne and he is committed to continuing to improve his batting and pushing on for further honours with Derbyshire.
With the crop of young players Derbyshire have at the moment, surrounding them with experienced and supportive players is vital in their development, helping them to learn and model themselves on successful professionals. Madsen is one of those experienced professionals who can help Derbyshire’s young stars develop as they push for honours and silverware, which again Welch was keen to point out with his comments “Wayne is also a role model to the younger players in the squad, passing on his knowledge and experience. We’re delighted that he will remain a pivotal member of our side for years to come.
Madsen is clearly very happy at Derbyshire and enjoys his cricket on and off the field, he remarked “I love playing for Derbyshire and I’m delighted to now commit my long-term future to the Club. We have a squad which is getting better all the time and I want to continue to play my part.
“Our young players continue to improve and with the senior group of players we now have, I’m confident that progress at Derbyshire will continue.
Madsen is a player who has many admirers throughout the county game and beyond – as pure speculation he may well have had suiters offering him improved contracts to join other counties. In committing his long term future to Derbyshire, it shows the faith and excitement he has for the future with the club.
Derbyshire fans should take great heart in their captain and most consistent batsmen of the last few years choosing to stay and be a part of the club as they build a side they hope is capable of winning silverware in the near future.
In a week of gifts that Derbyshire supporters will not want to end, some would argue that this is the best present of all; while the signing of Jimmy Neesham may be the biggest and most immediately exciting gift, the commitment of one of Derbyshire’s major stars for the long term is a gift which will last for years to come is the most exciting for Derbyshire fans.