Seventy five days after rain washed out the end of the Essex game on 1 June, LV= County Championship action returns to Trent Bridge with Nottinghamshire hosting one of their traditional rivals, Warwickshire.
It is a fixture that throws up a host of memories and a sackful of random statistics from classic encounters of both a bygone era as well as more recent times.
Warwickshire come to Trent Bridge for the 62nd time this week, with Nottinghamshire leading the head-to-head count-back on the ground by 26 victories to nine, with another 26 matches ending in draws.
The series of clashes has featured some of the games outstanding performers, with many of them coming to the fore in this particular clash. Best bowling honours for the visitors came in the very first meeting – way back in 1894 – when James Whitehead claimed eight wickets. In a 58 match career his figures of 41.4-24-47-8 were easily the best he ever achieved.
Notts’ best bowling at home to the Bears was achieved by Harold Larwood in 1930 The fearsome quickie grabbed 7-57 Eighty years later another Nottinghamshire and England Test bowler did take eight wickets against Warwickshire for the first time but Stuart Broad’s 8-53 last month was at Edgbaston.
Stuart’s father Chris is one of a host of star names to record a century in the fixture. His 104 came in 1992 and was preceded and emulated by the likes of Tim Robinson (207 in 1983), Derek Randall (113 a year later), Paul Johnson (120* in 1995) and Darren Bicknell’s 167 in 2001.
Bicknell’s effort came a year after he and Guy Welton put on an unbroken 406 for the first wicket at Edgbaston – a ground record.
Current Notts skipper Chris Read has enjoyed the fixture with centuries in 1999 (160) and also last year (110) whilst his absence in 2006 enabled David Alleyne to score a career-high 106, as well as picking up a tally of nine dismissals in the match.
The meeting in 1972 had a bit of a sweet and sour note about it as far as Paul Todd was concerned. Given his first class debut, the right hander progressed to 66 but was then injured and had to retire hurt.
"Wagh’s team-mate Paul Franks has an extra-special reason for remembering the 1997 clash as he took a hat-trick in Warwickshire’s first innings."
Pain of a different kind must have been felt by the Notts batter Freddie Stocks who was clearly destined not to reach a century against the Birmingham-based side.At Trent Bridge in 1952 he was left marooned on 96 not out when the final wicket fell but there was more anguish to come as he fell on 99 in both 1952 and 1955.
In Notts’ 1969 victory Mike Harris collected the best bowling analysis (4-16) of his 344 match career whilst another Mike - Hendrick, Nottinghamshire’s current seam bowling coach, took the 750th wicket of his first class career when he dismissed Geoff Humpage during the fixture in 1983.
Perhaps surprisingly, given the longevity of the fixture, Warwicks have never reached 500 at Trent Bridge, with Notts only doing it once against their forthcoming opponents, with 514 in 2005.
That game five years ago has been talked about in recent days because David Hussey, with 232, scored the first of his three Notts’ ‘double-tons’ – the most recent of which came at Headingley Carnegie last week. The Australians’ haul five years ago is the highest individual score his side have ever amassed against the West Midland county at home, whilst Rohan Kanhai went even better in 1968.
His 253 came in a stand of 402 for the fourth wicket with Khalid Ibadulla, a first class record at TB. Kanhai, one of the West Indies all-time greats, clearly enjoyed batting in West Bridgford as he also recorded centuries on two other visits with his county – 105 in 1970 and 114 in 1973.
To score a double hundred is a terrific effort for any batsman but Notts’ opener Reg Simpson achieved the feat on nine separate occasions, including twice at home against the Bears 201 in 1946 and exactly 200 six years later.
A number of players have turned out for both counties in the series of meetings. The likes of Deryck Murray, Eddie Hemmings, Dilip Doshi and Anurag Singh have also represented previous or future employers, as has Mark Wagh, who will be hoping to add another century over the next few days to the one he scored on his old stamping ground three weeks ago.
Wagh’s team-mate Paul Franks has an extra-special reason for remembering the 1997 clash as he took a hat-trick in Warwickshire’s first innings. Trevor Penney was first to go, caught behind by Wayne Noon and then both Dougie Brown and Graeme Welch were clean-bowled.
Perhaps the 2010 game will feature some outstanding feats or a record-breaking performance but whatever else happens, isn’t it nice to have championship cricket back at Trent Bridge again?
Mick Newell will name an unchanged team from that which faced Yorkshire with Matt Wood keeping his place despite Steven Mullaney’s return from injury.
Nottinghamshire team: Alex Hales, Matt Wood, Mark Wagh, Samit Patel, David Hussey, Ali Brown, Chris Read, Paul Franks, Andre Adams, Ryan Sidebottom, Darren Pattinson
Dave Bracegirlde will provide ball-by-ball commentary on Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire via http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham