Victorians have a long history with Trent Bridge, the ground playing host to many successful overseas players from the state, while Melbourne has become a popular destination for Outlaws during the English winter. Australian international bowler Peter Siddle is the latest to continue that tradition, joining the county for the 2014 season.
Widely regarded as one of the best overseas signings in county cricket this summer, Siddle insisted that Nottinghamshire were his number one target.
“I didn’t look at any other options,” he said.
“During the Ashes test I spoke to David Saker who was my bowling coach growing up.
“I told him I was keen to come over here, he went and chatted to a few of the boys and came back and said that if I could get myself here that would be the best place for me.”
Yet to make his debut for Nottinghamshire this summer, Siddle’s association with the county spans his career. During Trent Bridge’s 2013 Ashes Test he completed an excellent five-wicket haul in the first innings, but his earliest experience arrived at Lady Bay some ten years ago.
“As a junior, probably ten years ago, we came and played against Notts’ second eleven, we were just a side from Victoria,” he said.
“Once the opportunity to come to Notts came up, it was a very easy decision to make." - Peter Siddle.
“We played across the road, Swanny made some runs against us.
“I bowled him with a no ball and he went on to make a hundred.”
As well as his memories playing in and around Trent Bridge, Siddle also took on board the opinions of a number of Nottinghamshire luminaries when toying with the idea of a summer in county cricket.
“It’s a nice area and I’m good mates with Dave Hussey, so I’ve heard lot of good stories,” he said.
“I spoke to Darren Pattinson, who played here as well, and to hear how much he enjoyed it, and the fun he had here.
“Once the opportunity to come to Notts came up, it was a very easy decision to make."
Siddle’s arrival during Nottinghamshire’s first LV= County Championship of the season may have been later than expected due to visa issues, but it has allowed the 29-year-old Victorian a chance to witness his team mates in action at Trent Bridge.
“The boys have been good, it was nice to spend a little bit of time with them yesterday and today, get settled in and comfortable, before getting down to business over the next couple of days,” said Siddle.
“To get everything stamped you have to go through the process in person and with the trip to South Africa I was held up a bit.
“My visa, along with Chris Rogers’, was sent to Manila.
“I had paid for priority and he didn’t. He got his back five days before I did and I was 400 dollars lighter.”
Siddle has been cleared by Cricket Australia to represent Nottinghamshire for the duration of the 2014 season, and will represent the county in both the LV= County Championship and the Royal London One-Day Cup. As a player at the forefront of Australia’s Test bowling attack, he was keen to make the most of a substantial time without international commitments to taste the domestic game in England.
“We had a big break from international cricket so I thought if I could find a team and get over here then it would be a great opportunity,” he said.
“It gives me the chance to keep toiling over, keep bowling and stay match fit.
“That’s a big part of being at your best and the key to being able to do that is consistently playing cricket.
“Being an Australian, most players play across all formats and that’s the difference with me. I’ve been pretty much just a test player of the past couple of years and it’s made the summer in county cricket an easy decision.
“I’ve concentrated a lot on the long form, and the IPL has never been a big thing for me.
“My goal has always been to see how many Test matches I can play in and that’s what I’ll stick with.
“Trent Bridge is a great place to play, there’s a good supporter base around here and it’s a good square so hopefully I’ll be able to have some success here this summer.”