Club Coach Paul Johnson will take control of Nottinghamshire’s Second Eleven during the opening weeks of the season.
Johnson will oversee the first competitive fixtures of 2011 against Durham at Lady Bay this week with Wayne Noon spending time with the first team.
“Wayne took charge of the majority of our pre-season preparations and it will be beneficial for the players to have some continuity at this stage of the season,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell.
“Paul has worked extensively with all of the professional and academy players at the club and is comfortable in taking day to day control of the Second Eleven whilst Wayne is with the first team.”
Johnson will include Ben Phillips and Graeme White in his team to face Durham at Lady Bay as they complete their recoveries from ankle injuries.
Opening pair Neil Edwards and Rikki Wessels have shown excellent form in pre-season and Johnson expects all four players to push hard for first team opportunities.
“Second Eleven cricket is about team performances and individual contributions and there are a number of players in this squad who need to be first in the pecking order when opportunities arise in the first team,” said Johnson.
“Rikki, Neil and Akhil all have hundreds to their name already this season and they are vying to get the tap on the shoulder from Mick.
“The motivation for the younger players is slightly different in that they’ve seen Scott Elstone and Jake Ball gain professional contracts and they want to find themselves in a similar position at the end of the season.”
Adeel Shafique is included in the squad after deputising for Nic Pothas in Nottinghamshire’s LV= County Championship win over Hampshire last week.
Nottinghamshire Second Eleven squad to face Durham at Lady Bay (trophy fixture April 19, Championship fixture April 20-22): Neil Edwards ©, Rikki Wessels, Akhil Patel, Scott Elstone, Sam Wood, Ollie Swann, Ben Phillips, Graeme White, George Bacon, Jake Ball, Dan Cummins, Adeel Shafique.