Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket Mick Newell says his first-team squad will ‘relish’ playing two Royal London One-Day Cup 50-over matches at Welbeck CC this summer – the first time the club will have played home games at an outground in the county for 17 years.
With staging plans now officially ratified, the two-day festival has been confirmed for 225th and 26th July, when the Green and Golds take on Warwickshire Bears and then Glamorgan at The John Fretwell Complex.
It means cricket fans in the north of the county can look forward to seeing the likes of England players Alex Hales, James Taylor, Samit Patel and Michael Lumb in action, along with former Australia and Ashes bowler Ben Hilfenhaus and Zimbabwean World Cup batsman Brendan Taylor.
There is also the prospect of the Bears and Glamorgan fielding former international stars Jeetan Patel (New Zealand) and Jacques Rudolph (South Africa) in their line-ups.
Nottinghamshire last played a competitive first-team fixture away from Trent Bridge in 2004 at Cleethorpes, and you have to go back to 1998 for their last game in the county outside of Nottingham, when they played at Worksop.
“We’ve played at Horsham and Liverpool and places like that which have been great, and if the set-up is right, which we feel Welbeck will get right, it will be great experience for us and for our supporters to see Notts play somewhere else,” said Newell.
“We’ve asked Welbeck to prepare pitches for one and three-day cricket for our second-team matches in recent years and they have worked very hard to prove they will be of a suitable standard for first-team cricket. We knew already that the facilities are as good as any of the other outgrounds we have played at.
“It promises to be a weekend the players will relish and enjoy, as well as those watching, and there’s definitely a sense of it being a big, historic event because it hasn’t been done for a long while.”
One of the Nottinghamshire squad who will be desperate to play a part in the two Welbeck-based games is seamer Jake Ball.
The 24-year-old from Warsop took 19 wickets at 22.63 as he helped his home county win the Yorkshire Bank 40 in the 2013 season, having previously come through the ranks at Welbeck.
Ball said: “It would be a really proud moment for me to represent my county in a professional game at the ground where I grew up playing, and I think Welbeck will do Notts proud.
“Hopefully we will get a lot of local people interested and coming down to watch us – I know I will have plenty of friends and family there.”
The John Fretwell Complex was opened in 2006 and has been continuously developed for use not just by local cricketers, but also footballers and bowls players too.
“It was one of the aims when we built this place that we would one day get a Notts first-team game here, so this weekend makes me very excited,” said the facility’s benefactor John Fretwell.
“Hopefully this can help the not-for-profit Warsop Sporting Trust that oversees cricket here to inspire many more youngsters in our area to take up the game.”
Corporate hospitality for the game has now gone on sale at £70 per person for the weekend and £40 for one day, which includes a three-course meal and free parking.
You can find out more details on the Welbeck CC website at www.welbeckccc.co.uk or by calling 01623 847468.
General admission tickets are also available, priced at £15 each, while car parking is £5 per vehicle. Tickets are available through Nottinghamshire’s website at www.trentbridge.co.uk/tickets or via the booking hotline 0844 8118711.