Michael Lumb Believes Notts Will
Be Championship Title Contenders
Featured News | 3rd April 2012
Michael Lumb once ended Nottinghamshire's aspirations of winning the County Championship with a career-best innings of 219 for Hampshire at Trent Bridge.
This summer, he hopes to inspire them to glory in Division One, having left the Rose Bowl to join on a three-year deal.
It will be three years in August since Lumb, 32, hit a double century in West Bridgford and it is an innings he and his new captain, Chris Read, are unlikely to forget.
As wicketkeeper, Read was closest to the South African-born left-hander as he hit 37 boundaries off 325 balls before finally being dismissed by Samit Patel.
Notts eventually finished runners-up to Durham in the County Championship in 2009, though they won it for the sixth time in their history a year later.
Their ambition is to make it seven titles since 1907 this summer and Lumb, who won two one-day competitions in five seasons at Hampshire, craves four-day glory for the first time.
"I can't wait for the season to start," he said. "Our preparations have gone really well and we're all ready.
"You only have to look around Trent Bridge to see why I've come to Notts. It is a great place and Notts is a great club and the guys know how to win titles.
"They won the Championship a couple of years ago and I want to be in a winning environment. Hopefully I can contribute to a winning team."
With 12 centuries and 45 half-centuries in a first-class career that began at Yorkshire, Lumb is a key figure in the Outlaws' ambitions. So too, is another new signing, James Taylor, 22, who has an astonishing average of 49.82 in first-class four-day cricket.
The two are expected to significantly strengthen the Notts batting line-up that already boasts Alex Hales, who was their leading run-scorer in both the County Championship and t20 last summer.
"I definitely think we will be title contenders in all forms," said Lumb. "We've got some strong batters, with young Alex Hales, and a good mix of youth and experience. I think we can challenge on all fronts.
"To win a Championship is the ultimate goal so all of the guys will be raring to go to try to win that trophy and there is no reason why we can't have a trip to Lord's or a Twenty20 final."
Lumb won the Friends Provident Trophy in 2009 and the t20 Cup a year later with Hampshire and believes Notts can end their wait for a one-day title this summer, in either the CB40 or Friends Life t20.
"Three trophies would be pretty good," he smiled. "If we come towards the end of the season and we're in the mix for all three it will be a realistic goal. We set high standards and that will be the goal, to try to win three trophies."
Notts begin their County Championship campaign against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge, on Thursday which is, ironically, the last team Lumb faced in Division One for Hampshire last June before suffering a serious ankle injury that required surgery and so ruled him out for the rest of the summer.
Lumb made his long-awaited returned to action for Sydney Sixers in Australia's Big Bash League in December and then had another minor operation on his return to England before beginning his preparations for the new season. He believes his injury problems are firmly behind him now.
"Anyone who has had a bad injury knows it's a trying time, but I've come out the other end and I'm back on the field now and looking forward to the season," he said.
"It was ankle reconstruction so it was relatively serious, but I had good physio staff around me and we sorted it out and now I'm fit for the start of the season. That was my goal and I'm raring to go."
Lumb, who helped England win the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies in 2010, knows there is huge expectation on his shoulders.
"When you move anywhere there is expectation," he said. "It's a challenge and something I relish and look forward to.
"It's not overwhelming. It's a good challenge and I'm looking forward to the summer. I can't wait to get on the field and let the bat do the talking, hopefully."
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