Fixture News | 31st May 2007

Sidebottom available for Foxes match

Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell welcomes back Ryan Sidebottom for Sunday's Friends Provident Trophy clash with Leicestershire - and admits it could be a rare outing for the left-arm seamer.

Friends Provident Trophy North Conference
June 3: Leicestershire Foxes v Notts Outlaws
Start time: 10.45am

The 29-year-old was ordered to rest by the ECB after claiming match figures of 8-86 on his international comeback against West Indies at Headingley last week, six years after his first appearance in England colours.

But he is available for the 50-over fixture at Oakham School, with Notts looking to maintain their push for a top two finish in the North Conference and book their place in the semi-finals of the competition.

Leicestershire still have an outside chance of qualification themselves but a Notts victory would almost certainly eliminate them from the race.

And Sidebottom's return is sure to boost a confident Notts dressing room after they picked up their fourth straight win in the competition by thrashing Derbyshire in the rain-reduced meeting on Bank Holiday Monday.

Newell said: "Sid had an exceptional match at Headingley and exploited the conditions very well. I think he did exactly what the England hierarchy wanted him to do.

"It was top quality stuff and in the circumstances I'd like to assume that he will be involved for the rest of the Test series.

"It's up to him to keep putting the pressure to be selected, but I've also said in the past that I believe he would be an excellent choice in one-day cricket as well.

"If he continues to be successful, then who knows? We may not be seeing him around Trent Bridge too often this season."

With AJ Harris still at least a week away from returning to fitness, Newell signed former Somerset and England A seamer Simon Francis until the end of the season as extra bowling cover in Sidebottom's absence.

And Newell admitted that it's not been easy to pick his best XI from a squad where so many players are firing and said: "People claim it's a nice position to be in but I don't agree at all.

"It's not easy to go and tell people like Samit Patel that he's been dropped from the Championship side when he's scored two hundreds in four games.

"And Jason Gallian wasn't even in the squad for the Bank Holiday Monday game with Derbyshire after scoring 97 in the previous match against Scotland.

"But it's up to me to get the balance right and I do see it as important that we have a group of 14 or 15 players to fit into the side in either format of the game."

Shafayat, Fleming (capt), Wagh, Hussey, Patel, Read (wkt), Ealham, Swann, Franks, Clough, Shreck, Sidebottom, Ferley.

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