Mick Newell Honoured To Be Leading Notts Into Tenth Summer

Featured News | 4th April 2012

After winning the County Championship with Notts as a player in 1987, Newell has led them to two Division One titles since succeeding Clive Rice and becoming the club's director of cricket in 2002. The first of those was in 2005, which was their first since 1987, in fact, and the second was two years ago.

Twice, they have finished runners-up to Durham too, in successive summers in 2008 and 2009, though Notts have also been relegated twice under Newell.

His reign has been incredibly eventful and, today, at the beginning of his tenth summer he is honoured by the enduring faith in him the club has shown.

"It's a great honour," he said. "Over the course of the last ten years we've been pretty successful. We've always tried to move forward.

"There have been times, like in 2003 when we got relegated and we had to rebuild, the club has shown a lot of faith in me.

"There have been some incredible highs. To win two County Championships is a great thrill. That is the ultimate prize we play for.

"I was lucky enough to be involved when I was a player in 1987, but nothing compares to managing the team and winning. Both were in quite dramatic circumstances too."

Notts were led to glory in 2005 by former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming. It was also Graeme Swann's first summer at Trent Bridge and they beat Hampshire to the title by two-and-a-half points.

The climax to the 2010 season was even more dramatic. Notts finished level on 214 points with Somerset after a dramatic draw against Lancashire at Old Trafford in their final weather-hit game and finished top because they had won one more match.

"In 2005 we were the best team without a doubt. We had Fleming, (David) Hussey, (Ryan) Sidebottom and Swann. Jason Gallian was still playing well and so was (Darren) Bicknell," said Newell, looking back.

"The last one in 2010 was more of a scrap over the course of the season.

"We really had to battle because there were a lot of good sides. Somerset were always the favourites that year.

"The drama of that day in Lancashire made it just a little bit more special.

"It was a huge challenge thrown to the players on that last day of a long season and they came up with a fantastic performance.

"I watched the DVD of that an awful lot that winter and every now and then I look at photographs of it. I'm never going to forget it. It meant an awful lot to a lot of people and it was a great thrill."

Having won the County Championship for the sixth time in their history, Notts finished in sixth place in Division One last summer, however.

The biggest highlight of the summer at Trent Bridge was the outstanding form of Alex Hales, who scored 1,023 runs in the County Championship and 544 runs in the Friends Life t20.

Newell has further strengthened the Notts batting order with the signing of Michael Lumb and James Taylor and is targeting success in the County Championship and the two domestic one-day tournaments, the CB40 and t20.

"It was mission accomplished in terms of staying up in the end last summer and now we're all looking forward to the new season," he said.

"If you can't be optimistic now you never will be.

"When you can look at the league you have to think everybody could win a Division One title and most teams will believe they have a chance of winning the one-day competitions.

"It is quite a level competition in terms of ability and there are no stand-out teams, so everybody goes into the season with a realistic chance of some silverware and success."

Notts begin their County Championship campaign against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge tomorrow and Newell added: "We've always made it our number one competition, it's what we judge ourselves on as a club.

"It would be fantastic to win it again and I think we've got a team that is quite exciting.

"It's a lot younger than it's been in recent times and we've got to try to see what these young blokes can do now. I can't wait."

For more local news and sport visit The Nottingham Post.

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