My Week At Trent Bridge:
Squirrels & Mistaken Identity

Comment and Analysis | 13th June 2010

In a week of three dominant Notts victories in the Friends Provident t20, several peripheral moments have caught my attention. One of the highlights was seeing Ryan Sidebottom mistaken for a hairdresser in a comical exchange:

Member of the public: “Are you a hairdresser?”
Ryan Sidebottom: “Yes.”
Member of the public: “Where do you work.”
Ryan Sidebottom: “Keith Hall.”
Member of the Public: “Yes, thought so. See ya.”

He is instantly recognised by cricket fans but lots of people know that they know his face but they can’t quite place it. Graeme Swann gets mistaken for Stuart Broad a lot which he loves and Broady probably hates. As for our other resident internationals, David Hussey and Dirk Nannes, they don’t seem to get recognised at all and they don’t mind in the slightest.

Having experienced the relative pandemonium of the Indian Premier League and the ICC World Twenty20, the prospect of fading into virtual anonymity during their stint at Trent Bridge holds a lot of appeal. We lined up a few media appearances for them when they first arrived but we like to make a point of sharing the interviews around the entire squad and affording them the opportunity to have some free time.

It’s been easy this week with a lot of the focus on Alex Hales, who is closer to an England Lions call than he probably thinks, and Samit Patel who has enjoyed two excellent innings against Derbyshire Falcons and Worcestershire Royals.

"...rather than sticking to Olympic rules, one of them set off like Jonah Lomu, dropped his shoulder and nailed him with a textbook rugby tackle."

Samit wasn’t quite as fortunate against Worcestershire at New Road on Thursday where he was bowled round his legs off the thigh pad for nought. He was met on his way back to the dugout by a motorised duck which he laughed off rather than attempting to dispatch it to the boundary which I’m sure someone will do at some point in the competition.

We’ve welcomed BBC East Midlands Today host Colin Hazleden to Trent Bridge this week to help improve our match presentation during Friends Provident t20 fixtures. We have introduced several new elements including pre-match video content on the replay screen and a half-time mascot race where supporters are invited to race against Nuts the squirrel. On Friday, the race went without incident but then we asked one of the lads involved to give us a Delia-style war cry on the microphone. Something along the lines of ‘Come on you Outlaws’ would have done but with the Derbyshire players warming up ten yards away, he decided to get stuck in:

“Wes Durston’s done alright but I’ve been watching the Derbyshire players warming up and they don’t look up to much. They’ve had at least 50 attempts at throwing at the stump and they haven’t hit it once. They haven’t got any England players and we should be beating them in our sleep so COME ON YOU OUTLAWS.”

Quite poetic really but not quite what we had in mind so we roped in a couple of five year-olds on Sunday who kept it brief. Still invited some lads down to race the squirrel though and rather than sticking to Olympic rules, one of them set off like Jonah Lomu, dropped his shoulder and nailed him with a textbook rugby tackle.

Somewhat shocked to have been taken out in such a manner, Nuts got up to try and finish the race but didn’t have his bearings and sprinted off in the wrong direction.

It’s all been good fun and we get a bit of a rest when the SKY cameras come to town on Tuesday for the visit of James Anderson and Lancashire but come and see us if you fancy tackling the squirrel when we face Northants at Trent Bridge on Tuesday 22nd June.

Michael Temple is Nottinghamshire's Media & Communications Manager

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