A strong Nottinghamshire squad including England Ashes hopefuls Alex Hales and James Taylor will attempt to get their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign off to a flying start at the historic ‘Welbeck Weekender’.
Mick Newell’s side will play back-to-back games at Welbeck Cricket Club against first Warwickshire and then Glamorgan - tomorrow and Sunday, both starting at 10.30am - to begin their 50-over trophy bid.
Other names among the star-studded green and golds number will be England one-day left-arm seamer Harry Gurney, former Three Lions players, Chris Read, Samit Patel and Michael Lumb, Australian all-rounder Dan Christian and former Zimbabwe Test ace Brendan Taylor.
There’s also a place in the squad for local hero Jake Ball, who grew up playing on the Sookholme Road ground as a Welbeck player before being signed by his county side.
The two fixtures are the first time Nottinghamshire have played a competitive first team game away from Trent Bridge since 2004 – and you have to go back to 1998 to find the last time such a match took place within the county borders, at Worksop’s Central Avenue.
It is testament to how seriously the county club are taking the fixture that all their ‘big guns’ are being made available for selection.
“There are going to be a lot of international players on show – and not just for us either,” said director of cricket Newell. “From our point of the view, the reason for that is that we want to get off to a good start in this competition.
“We want to win trophies – and it’s pretty clear now that we aren’t going to win the County Championship – so this is another avenue to do that.
“In that respect, this competition is right at the top of our list in importance. It’s a possible trip to Lord’s.”
Nottinghamshire will journey up the A60 tomorrow following tonight’s (Friday) showdown with Leicestershire that will decide if they reach the knockout stages of the T20 Blast.
Earlier in the week, eight wickets from Gurney and a magnificent knock of 291 from James Taylor helped wrap up a morale-boosting innings and 103-run County Championship victory over Sussex at Horsham.
Newell added: “We have played some good cricket in the last four weeks and everyone is feeling a lot better about things, with excellent performances in both T20 and 40-over cricket.
“We should be feeling pretty confident about the weekend on the back of that and looking to put in some more good performances.
“There is no previous form in this competition to compare things with, being the first set of matches, but we played some good white ball cricket last year and made it all the way to the Lord’s final in 2013 (when the corresponding competition was played over 40 overs) against Glamorgan, so we will be ready going into the weekend.”
Tickets for both days of the ‘Welbeck Weekender’ are available to buy on the day and are priced at £10 for adults, £7 for senior citizens and £5 for under-16s.
Spectators can take advantage of a wide range of food and drink outlets that will include a barbecue and hog roast, as well as pizza, paella and ice cream stalls.
Call the club on 01623 847468 for more details or with any enquiries. You can also follow the club on Twitter @WelbeckCricket and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/welbeckcricketclub
Nottinghamshire squad: Hales, Wessels, Lumb, J. Taylor, B. Taylor, Patel, Christian, Mullaney, Read, Fletcher, S. Wood, Ball, Gurney, Hutton.