Jade Winston Dernbach
March 03, 1986, Johannesburg, South Africa
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
St John The Baptist, Johannesburg
Jade Dernbach is a very modern cricketer. Earrings in both ears, tattoos covering each arm and words to accompany each delivery. His bowling is a merry-go-round of variations with slower-balls, quicker slower-balls, yorkers and bouncers as well as, crucially, an ability to touch 90mph. His variety, alongside a deep well of confidence that helps him hold his nerve, often at the most demanding times, made him a regular part of England's limited-overs teams for three years, although his penchant for over-exuberant celebrations - he has been known to run the length of the ground after getting wickets in dead first-class matches - have been widely mocked.
That mocking was a cross he had to bear - an extravagant appearance meant he did not blend into the background easily - but when his England career stalled - he was last seen at World Twenty20 in Chittagong in 2014 when he ran into AB de Villiers, a man on a mission - he contributed to Surrey's re-emergence as one of England's strongest counties with great passion and was a ready source of encouragement and advice for the next generation. He has been a more thoughtful cricketer than many have imagined.
His accent reflected a journeyed background. Born in South Africa but a graduate of the Surrey Academy, Dernbach became Surrey's youngest debutant for 30 years when - at the age of 17 - he played against India A in 2003. In 2005 he was thrust into the spotlight when selected to play against Lancashire in the semi-final of the Twenty20 Cup, although with figures of 0 for 52, he was clearly under-prepared. His first-team chances were limited thereafter, although he showed some potential in the 2nd XI.
A spell in Australia, playing grade cricket in Sydney for Randwick/Petersham, helped to improve his all-round game and his first hint of international recognition came in 2009 when he was called up to the ECB Fast Bowling Programme in Florida and Chennai. He was part of the Performance squad during the Ashes winter in 2010-11, and was playing in the Caribbean for England Lions when he heard of his call-up to the World Cup squad, as a replacement for Ajmal Shahzad. Though he didn't play in England's disappointing campaign he made his T20 and ODI debuts the following summer and established himself as an important part of the side.
However, even after than 50 international appearances, he was still fighting for full acceptance. Impressive performances have been grossly outweighed, in terms of publicity, by his mishaps. He had the ignominy of possessing some of the worst economy rates of all time in ODIs and T20 internationals and a desperate showing at the World T20 looked to have halted his England career in its tracks. By the end of 2014, he was not even an automatic selection for Surrey in Championship cricket, and was embarrassed to concede 56 in four overs of the T20 Blast semi-final. He reportedly considered leaving Surrey after his initial contractual demands were rejected, but ultimately opted to remain at the club.
He not only stayed, he gained deepening respect. In 2015, he became only the third man to take a hat-trick in a Lord's final, although his 6 for 35 against Gloucestershire came in defeat, and had to endure three successive defeats in all as Surrey became perennial bridesmaids in the Lord's showcase final. Statistics insisted that in county cricket he deserved to be recognised as one of the finest List A performers of his time.
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