Nottinghamshire have a history of success with left-arm fast bowling, and Harry Gurney is ready to take the mantle from the likes of Ryan Sidebottom and Greg Smith in this summer’s upcoming LV= County Championship.
“We’re all looking to get our hands on some silverware this summer,” said Gurney.
“Every pre-season you’re very optimistic of trophies, this time last year we were the same. It didn’t turn out quite as we would have hoped. I believe, and the whole squad believes that the team, as a unit, is far stronger this time around.
“A lot of us are another year more experienced and are better cricketers than we were twelve months ago.”
Nottinghamshire’s prosperous tour of Barbados has already yielded the first trophy of the season, cranking up the early competition for places in that first eleven of the season against Middlesex on April 10.
“I was happy with the way the tour went, we won the T20 Cup quite convincingly and it was really enjoyable to be part of that team," said Gurney.
"You get out there and see some pretty big names taking part in the warm up. It’s a pleasure to play alongside players of this quality.
“There’s good healthy competition in the bowling slots, Ajmal has come in and he’s an international bowler, and that adds to the strength we already in those positions. Andre will be coming back too, and he’s fantastic with the ball.
“There is a good level of competition for those places and the lads are all training hard to claim those few spots in the team, creating a healthy selection dilemma for Chris Read and Mick.”
Notts already boast a wealth of options in attack, the likes of Shahzad and Adams bolstered by the news that for two matches at least, they will be bolstered by the arrival of Stuart Broad early in the season. This means that there are no guaranteed starting spots.
“My personal target this year is to bowl 300 overs but I don’t tend to set myself wicket targets,” said Gurney.
“I’m confident enough in my own ability that if I bowl around 300 overs then ill take probably 30 wickets. I just want to be in contention, selected enough and then to bowl those 300 overs.”
In the time ahead of the season’s start, Gurney and the rest of the side face a week of friendlies in conditions far removed from those in Barbados.
“We’re looking at a 30 degree drop," he said.
"Tomorrow we’ll be out there in the nets so there’s no time for steady acclimatisation.
“Barbados was all about getting some middle time for the batsmen and some overs for the bowlers. Back over here we’ll go into a few more match situations, albeit in friendlies, and it’ll give Ready and the gaffer the chance to look at all of us in playing in more English conditions.”
There can be no doubt that success in this year’s LV= County Championship is the main aim for Nottinghamshire’s season, but Gurney says that the club should be competing for silverware in all forms of the game.
“I think the four day game is the pinnacle of the season,” he said.
"We’ll be aiming to get into the top three and ultimately see where that takes us.
“If you look at the white ball competition, we have, on paper, one of the strongest teams around and there’s no reason why we cant get ourselves to a Lord’s final or even one step further again.”