A former Nottinghamshire player will be out in the middle for Saturday’s One Day International at Trent Bridge. Paul Reiffel, now an experienced umpire, alongside Michael Gough.
Reiffel, due to stand in his 35th ODI, played for Notts during the 2000 season and is very much looking forward to stepping out on the Trent Bridge turf again.
“The ground is so beautiful,” he says. “It was always a lovely place to play and I’ve only got fond memories of my time here. It will be so good to be back out in the middle again.”
"I do look back on my time here in Nottingham with a great deal of affection and very much enjoyed playing here."
The 48-year old admits it does seem a while since he turned out for the Outlaws. “It really does seem like a fair while ago now,” he reflects. “Being in the umpiring ranks it’s sometimes hard to even remember that I was a player once upon a time, it’s all about umpiring for me now.
“But I do look back on my time here in Nottingham with a great deal of affection and very much enjoyed playing here and very much enjoyed my time with the players.”
‘Pistol’ as he’s affectionately known within the game, turned out to be a more than adequate replacement, when he joined Notts 14 years ago.
“Shoaib Akhtar had signed as the overseas player but didn’t actually play, due to injury,” he recalls. “I came in for about three-quarters of the campaign and had a really good time here.”
That sentiment is more than matched up by his figures. Despite having made his reputation as more of a bowler, he delivered some splendid all-round performances for Notts.
In 7 County Championship matches he scored 275 runs, at an average of 68 with three half centuries – and took 21 wickets at 27.9 apiece.
This won’t be Paul’s first return to Trent Bridge but there have been many changes since his last visit.
“There are a couple of new stands here now and they’re all changes for the better. They’ve really added to the place. It’s always been a good ground to watch your cricket on and I came back a number of years ago and watched a Test here.”
A veteran of 35 Tests and 92 ODIs for Australia, a tally which includes a World Cup-winners medal, Reiffel knows all about the ‘big-match experience’.
“It should be a really good day on Saturday. One Day Internationals are always popular and the Indian fans always get into it, there’ll be plenty of noise and colour, so it should be a good atmosphere.
“When it’s quieter you can hear a lot more and it makes it a bit easier to umpire but as a sportsman you always want to be involved when there’s a great atmosphere in the ground. I’m here for all five games in the Series. Obviously one was washed out but I’m involved in the other four and very much enjoying my time back over in England.”