Nottinghamshire had two representatives named in England’s limited-overs squads for the upcoming matches against Sri Lanka.
Joining opening batsman Alex Hales is left-armer Harry Gurney, and Hales was certain his team mate’s selection is fully deserved, developing rapidly after moving from Leicestershire for the 2012 season.
“Since he’s come to us he’s been a revelation with the white ball,” said Hales.
“His skills have been outstanding in T20 cricket, even when he was at Leicestershire.
“He thoroughly deserves his chance and if he does get his debut on Tuesday everyone will be backing him to do a very good job.
“I’ve always thought he’s one of the best opening bowlers in the country when it comes to Twenty20 cricket and someone I had always struggled with when we’d played against them.
“It has been no surprise to see him step up to international level; he has the skills and abilities to impress at the top of the game.”
While Gurney can celebrate selection, Michael Lumb will be disappointed to miss out on the first squads of the English summer. Hales and his fellow Outlaw had become the quintessential opening pair.
“It’s great to be involved again, but harsh on Lumby,” said Hales.
“It’ll be a strange experience, opening with Michael Carberry instead, but I’m looking forward to it.
“You have to respect the selectors’ decision.
“Carberry has had an outstanding record for Hampshire over the last few years and I’m sure he’ll take that into the England side and I’m relishing the chance to bat with him.”
Hales has quite impressive previous against England’s opponents, becoming England’s first T20 centurion against Sri Lanka in the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh earlier in the year.
“I had a good look at their bowling attack,” said Hales.
“We watch a lot of footage before games and we’ve had a good solid batting unit for the time I’ve been in the team and I’m sure the boys are confidence ahead of the match.
“Hopefully we can do what we did in the world cup against them again next week.”
Closer to home for Hales, Notts Outlaws will get their 2014 NatWest T20 Blast campaign underway this Friday, hosting Lancashire Lightning under the Trent Bridge floodlights.
After a winter of travelling across the world, Hales is looking forward to turning out in front of the Nottinghamshire faithful, in what is set to be a bumper crowd.
“There aren’t many places in the world, let alone the country, to play cricket in front of a big crowd better than here at Trent Bridge,” he said.
“As a club we’ve always played an exciting brand of Twenty20 cricket, always excelled in the group stages and have an excellent home record.
I’m sure the crowd will be good and we’ll continue our form from there.
“We’ll be confident but Lancashire will be a tough opposition. The likes of Jos Buttler and a few others have the ability to take the game away from you, so we’ll have to be on top of our game and perform well.”
Notts were dealt a blow with the news that Jake Ball will miss the next five weeks through injury, and Gurney’s England selection will take him out of contention for at least one of the Outlaws’ upcoming fixture.
While questions remain over any overseas intentions, Hales was confident of other members of the Outlaws squad to step up and impress if needed.
“The depth of our bowling is good, Andy Carter and Ajmal Shahzad have been a big part of our white ball cricket for the last few years,” he said.
“Luke Fletcher has been struggling to get a game in T20 for the last couple of years, and that shows how strong we are.
“He’s probably the best Yorker bowler at the club and it’ll be good if he gets a crack at it this year because he has an outstanding skill set.
“Silverware hasn’t crossed my mind yet, we’ve been saying it at the start of every campaign for the last few years then lost in the quarter finals.
“We’ll be confident going into the group stages of reaching the quarter final, and then from there we won’t be complacent.”
Notts Outlaws NatWest T20 Blast Fixtures & Ticket Information
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