DateLine: 13th February 2006
Darren Maddy was one of the few members of the victorious Leicestershire side of 1996 and 1998 to graduate to international honours. A successful, if not top-class opener in their two Championship winning seasons, in May 1998 he was rather illogically picked for Englandís one-day team as a no.5 batsman, where he made 1 on debut and then wasnít needed to bat in his second match, without his still fairly nascent bowling being risked. It may or may not have been related to his disappointing debut, but his form was fairly average for the rest of the season. His chance had come largely thanks to a commanding A tour of Kenya and Sri Lanka. Another strong A Tour in 1998-9 kept his name in the frame, and he made his Test debut in the infamous Fourth Test against New Zealand at The Oval in August 1999, where despite failing twice with the bat (this time as an opener) he was picked ahead of Mark Ramprakash for the winter tour to South Africa. Success in the Tests largely passed him by, and although he got runs on the board in some of the ODIís he played that winter his bowling was never used, and he needed to be classed as an all-rounder to stay in the team. The Leicester born Maddy has stayed loyal to the Foxes, and in recent years his medium paced bowling has come to the fore. A superb 2002 saw him average 47 with the bat and take 43 wickets at just 22 in First-class cricket, although the last two seasons have been more of a struggle with both bat and ball, although his all-round skills have been put to good use in Leicestershireís dominance of the first three years of the English Twenty20 competition.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 Matthew Reed)