Overseas batsman Ashwell Prince is determined to make an impact when Nottinghamshire go in search of the LV County Championship against Hampshire from Wednesday.
Prince replaced Adam Voges in August with a brief to score enough runs to keep Notts in the title hunt and although he admits that his scores have fallen short of his own high expectations, his presence in the dressing room and commitment in the field have made him a valuable presence in the side.
“I’ve said all along that I think I’ve joined the best side in the Championship but we haven’t achieved anything yet and we have to maintain our standards against Hampshire,” said Prince.
“My objectives at Notts were to win trophies and to contribute with big scores and I have been disappointed that I’ve been getting twenties and thirties and then getting out. I still feel that there is a big score in me and I want to sign off in style this week.”
Prince scored 24 runs in last week’s win over Surrey at The Brit Oval which gave Notts an eight point lead at the top of LV County Championship Division One. Regardless of bonus points, Notts will be crowned Champions if they beat Hampshire.
“After the game at The Oval, there was a sense of satisfaction in the dressing room but it will be a much sweeter feeling if we win this week,” said Prince.
“As professional cricketers, this is the type of game that you want to be involved in and we will approach it with clear minds.
“We’ve got four seamers, right and left-hand spinners and we bat very deep so the balance of the side couldn’t be any better.
“There is definitely going to be something in the ground for the seamers and we’ve got two in-form spinners who can come into the game as time goes on.”
Prince has backed team mate Samit Patel to make the step up to the England test team after watching him rise to prominence against his South African compatriots in the NatWest Series.
Patel hit six sixes on his way to a stylish 135 against Surrey and his contribution alongside fellow spin-bowling all-rounder Graeme Swann will be crucial if Notts are to cement their second Championship crown in four years.
“Samit has all of the potential in the world and he wasn’t overawed when he broke into the England one-day side,” said Prince.
“He believes that he can bat against anyone and bowl at anyone and that is a great approach. If he keeps improving then he could make the step to the Test side.”
Wednesday’s play at Trent Bridge will commence at 10.35am to accommodate live coverage on Sky Sports.
LV County Championship - Division One Table
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
LV County Championship - Division One
Kent v Durham, Canterbury, 10:30
Nottinghamshire v Hampshire, Trent Bridge, 10:35 - LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 1
Somerset v Lancashire, Taunton, 10:30
Sussex v Yorkshire, Hove, 10:30