Nottinghamshire bowler Jake Ball is set to make his first first-class appearance at Trent Bridge when Durham MCCU visit Trent Bridge from Wednesday.

Keen to prove his worth, Ball hopes to catch the eye alongside Ben Phillips and Harry Gurney who are also set for inclusion having missed the LV= County Championship curtain-raiser.

“Hopefully this start can be the first stepping stone on the road of forcing my way in to the Championship side at some point during the season,” Ball said. 

“I want to show to Mick and Chris that I am ready for the step up when the time comes.”

"I want to show to Mick and Chris that I am ready for the step up when the time comes."

While this might not be as early as next week’s game against Derbyshire due to the bowling being bolstered by the returning Stuart Broad, Ball is confident his chance will come. 

“My ultimate goal for 2013 is to get into the four-day side," he said.

"However, I do realise there are a number of bowlers ahead of me. My aim is to show that if injuries deplete the squad or international call-ups come, I am ready and able to step in and do a job.”

With this in mind, Ball’s predominant playing portion of the season is the one-day competitions later on in the summer. 

“I am bowling really well at the moment and it is all about biding my time and taking the game time when it comes around," he said.

"That is why I am looking forward to getting back into the one-day games to get first-team cricket under my belt.

“Carrying on my form from last year in the 40-over game is another goal and I also want to try and get more T20s under my belt this year.”

With the strength of the Notts squad routinely talked about, everyone around the club is optimistic about success during 2013 despite an uncharacteristic early-season defeat to Middlesex.

“We have an outstanding chance of success this year as the squad is as strong as it has ever been,” said Ball.

“We don’t pigeonhole one competition that we are aiming for silverware in as we are strong across all three formats.

“Last year, in the Championship we were in the hunt until late in the season. On top of that in both one-day competitions we performed admirably leading to a quarter-final appearance in the CB40.”

With Ball one of a number of strong seam options throughout the squad, Notts coach Mick Newell is spoilt for choice.

The number of players at his disposal, if they all perform to their ability, should see Notts challenging this season. 

Play starts at 11am at Trent Bridge on Wednesday and admission is free for all supporters.

Nottinghamshire team to face Durham MCCU: Michael Lumb, Samit Patel, Steven Mullaney, James Taylor, Chris Read, Paul Franks, Graeme White, Ben Phillips, Ajmal Shahzad, Harry Gurney, Jake Ball