General News | 4th August 2007

Nuts ready for mascot race

The Outlaws may not have reached Twenty20 Finals Day but fans still have something to cheer about at Edgbaston.

Club mascot Nuts the Squirrel will be flying the county flag when he lines up against 17 of his furry friends in this year's npower Derby.     

A mix between the Olympic 400 metres and an episode of the 1960's cult TV show "It's A Knockout", the npower Derby is one of the highlights of an action packed day of cricket.

The mascot race, which starts at 2.30pm, will feature 18 weird and wonderful mascots - 15 from the County Championship, Sky's Jack Russell and the npower Orbs.  

However, Notts fans shouldn't get too excited about a win as official Twenty20 bookmakers Totesport have priced the rodent as a big outsider to lift the npower trophy at 10/1.  

Nuts said: "The npower Derby during Twenty 20 Finals Day is the biggest day of the year for us mascots and I'll be there at the start line - bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

"My performance last year - when I ran the wrong way - has been gnawing away at me and I've been storing it up ever since.

"This season, I've been on a strict diet of acorns and I've been getting plenty of exercise seeing the young Notts fans around Trent Bridge. I'm sure this year, I'll scurry along and hopefully I'll win by a whisker."

Despite this confidence, Nuts will be up against some pretty stiff competition. 2004 winner, Lanky the Giraffe from Lancashire, is favourite at 9/2 and last year's winner, Sussex's Sid the Shark, is also strongly favoured at 6/1 – although he may not be able to attend as he might be on holiday in Cornwall. 

Surprisingly, the npower Orbs aren't fancied by the bookmakers (priced at 10/1 each) despite having two familiar names wearing the outfits.

Chris Lewis and Jason Gallian will don the Orb suits on behalf of Twenty 20 sponsors npower to raise money for charity. Lewis will be running in aid of Macmillan, npower's charity partner, and Gallian for the Professional Cricketers Association Benevolent Fund.

Chris Lewis said: "Hopefully being an npower Orb will give me the energy I'll need to cross the finish line in first place, but at the end of the day, wherever Jason and I finish, we're out here raising money for two great causes."

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