Notts Outlaws will travel for the first time in the NatWest T20 Blast this week with a short trip to face local rivals Derbyshire Falcons.
Harry Gurney has returned to Trent Bridge following the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka and will be available to represent the Outlaws in familiar surroundings.
“It’s a ground I’ve played at many times, be it with Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire in recent years,” he said.
“I’m familiar with a few of their players, in particular Scott Elstone, and I’m looking forward to getting out there, getting a win for the Outlaws and getting one over on an old mate.
“They’re expecting a good crowd, and there’s a big rivalry between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.”
Fixtures against local rivals Derbyshire always carry a little extra spice and excitement for players and fans alike. Gurney, however, has focused on his own preparations and how to best go about winning the game.
“I personally won’t treat the game any differently to any other, it’s about preparing as well as possible, going out there and doing what you do with the white ball, whether its for Nottinghamshire, the second eleven who I played for a few weeks ago, or England,” said Gurney.
“There’s a danger when you get picked for some of those squads that you have to do more than what you’ve done in the past.
“All I’ve tried to do is go out and play for England how I have played for Notts, and I want to do that again tomorrow night.”
The NatWest T20 Blast has been tough going for the Outlaws thus far, an excellent victory over Lancashire Lightning followed by defeats to Worcestershire and Durham. However, with a competition which spans three months, Gurney added that form wasn’t a cause for concern.
“It’s a long competition this year, so losing two games early on isn’t as disastrous as it would have been last year,” he said.
"T20 cricket can often be damage limitation for the bowlers but the best way to limit that damage is by taking wickets.”
“It’s a long slog to get out of the group, and you need to be in the top four at the end.
“That’s the aim, rather than being down and depressed in the dressing room. Win tomorrow night and we’ll be right back into the mix again.
Now in the competition’s fourth week, this year’s Twenty20 competition has meant acclimatising to conditions in May and early June rather than at the height of summer, though Gurney has found them easy to become accustomed to.
“It’s similar to previous years in that the Pro 40 would have started around this time of year, only this year it’s the Twenty20,” he said.
“In that sense it doesn’t make a huge difference in preparing yourself for the very different skills you need in a white-ball game.
If there’s a bit of rain around then the conditions will change, and the par scores a little lower than expected under normal circumstances.
“You look around the grounds and the one-day wickets all tend to be excellent.
“Even watching Leicestershire play at Grace Road on Friday it was clear that the pitch was a belter.
“Wherever you go you’re expecting a good wicket, and to a certain extent T20 cricket can often be damage limitation for the bowlers but the best way to limit that damage is by taking wickets.”
Derbyshire expect to have tickets available for sale on the gate but have advised supporters to arrive early in anticipation of a near sell-out crowd.
Notts Outlaws squad to face Derbyshire Falcons (from): Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Riki Wessels, Chris Read, Steven Mullaney, Sam Wood, Ajmal Shahzad, Andy Carter, Hary Gurney, Luke Fletcher
Derbyshire Falcons squad to face Notts Outlaws (from): Stephen Moore, Wes Durston, Wayne Madsen, Alex Hughes, Gareth Cross, Tim Groenewald, Matt Higginbottom, Mark Turner, Chesney Hughes, Marcus North, Scott Elstone, Tony Knight, Tony Palladino, Mark Footitt, Tom Taylor.