County Championship Division Two 2022
Maddinson bound for Durham to push Ashes case
Victoria and Australia A batter Nic Maddinson will head to England for red and white-ball county cricket after the Sri Lanka tour
21 June 2022, 07:59 AM AEST
Australian batter Nic Maddinson has confirmed a long-planned move to the County Championship this winter with an eye on returning to the Test side for next year's Ashes tour.
Maddinson will be in action for Australia A for the second four-day game against Sri Lanka A in Hambantota starting today, which completes the A team's tour ahead of the Test series starting June 29.
The left-handed Maddinson, 30, will then head directly to England play in the four-day County Championship and One-Day Cup with Durham, who are sixth in the eight-team second division of the County Championship.
He will be hoping to recapture the form he showed in his only previous first-class match in England, an Australia A game against Gloucestershire in Bristol in 2013 when he smashed 181 from 143 balls opening the batting.
Maddinson said recently a return to England had been on his radar, with the pandemic setting back those plans, but now with an Ashes series coming in 12 months, the timing was right.
"I've been very open in the last year to going over and playing in England," Maddinson told RSN Breakfast radio recently.
"I think with the stage of my career I'm at, I'm really prioritising four-day cricket.
"I feel like Test cricket is the ultimate goal for me still so I want to get as much experience in that around as possible and playing in England definitely ticks that box.
"With an Ashes coming up next year I felt like it was a pretty good opportunity to try and make it over there and get some experience in those conditions as well."
Maddinson replaces South Africa's Keegan Petersen as Durham's international signing.
The left-hander has scored 2,261 Sheffield Shield runs since joining Victoria four years ago in a move that reinvigorated his career, having earlier played with NSW.
His form last summer, which saw him averaging just under 100 before a lean run at the back end of the season brought it back to a still impressive 54.50 with two centuries in seven games, had him back in the mix for Test honours again.
Having played three Tests in 2016 after a debut against South Africa, he earned a recall to the Australian Test squad as COVID cover during the home Ashes last summer, and struck 71 against the England Lions with Australia A in December.
He was also a stand-by batter for the Pakistan tour and is now in the Australia A squad in Sri Lanka, where he made 59 in the second innings of the first four-day game.
"I am really proud and excited to be joining Durham," Maddinson said in a statement overnight. "The opportunity to play both County Championship and one-day matches is something I am really looking forward to.
"I can't wait to get to the UK and join up with such a great club.
Maddinson has played for both New South Wales and latterly Victoria in the Sheffield Shield, averaging 40 at first-class level with a highest score of 224 against South Australia.
He was recruited by former Australian Test cap Marcus North, now Durham's director of cricket.
North said Maddinson was a "very talented overseas signing who offers something with both bat and ball in both red and white-ball cricket".
"His record in domestic cricket back in Australia is fantastic, and we are sure he will be a great addition to the Durham squad."
Australians in 2022 County Championship
Durham: Nic Maddinson
Essex: Mark Steketee
Glamorgan: Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser
Gloucestershire: Marcus Harris
Middlesex: Peter Handscomb
Northamptonshire: Matt Kelly
Nottinghamshire: James Pattinson
Somerset: Matt Renshaw, Peter Siddle
Warwickshire: Nathan McAndrew