The NatWest T20 Blast will, for the second season in succession, begin with Notts Outlaws facing Birmingham Bears on a Friday night at Trent Bridge.

The 2014 winners will visit Nottingham on Friday 20 May, with a 6.30pm start, in a repeat of the 2015 opener that saw Luke Fletcher celebrate successful yorkers in style - and Alex Hales blaze six successive sixes - as the Outlaws emerged victorious by seven wickets last season.

The average attendance at Trent Bridge in 2015 was in excess of 10,000 for the first time, including a five-figure turnout for the visit of the Bears and a Notts Outlaws record of 13,582 for the final match of the competition against Derbyshire Falcons.

Notts have won their opening fixture in the domestic T20 tournament in each of the past six seasons with Birmingham, Lancashire, Leicestershire (twice), Derbyshire and Worcestershire all on the receiving end during that time.

"It’s going to be a big game, hopefully matched by a good crowd at Trent Bridge," said Newell.

"From our perspective, we can look at the season, look at the availability of England players in relation to Nottinghamshire matches and that’ll have a bearing on our T20 cricket.

"That’s something we’ll be keen to look at soon, and that’ll have a bearing on what sort of overseas player we look for."

The 2016 County Championship, meanwhile, will open on Sunday 10 April when newly promoted Surrey visit Trent Bridge with an 11am start.

Former Nottinghamshire fast bowler Mark Footitt, who still lives in the county, could make his Surrey debut in a match that will also see the England & Wales Cricket Board’s experimental new rule regarding the toss come into force for the first time.

The away team will be given the option of bowling first in all championship fixtures throughout 2016 as the governing body aims to aid the development of spin bowlers.

Surrey last visited Trent Bridge for a four day game in 2013 as Fletcher shared the wickets with Paul Franks and Harry Gurney in a 114-run success for the home side.

"It’s a very strong looking division from this position; every game will be a big challenge," said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell. 

"I’m looking forward to facing Surrey, we haven’t played them in a couple of years. They have some exciting young cricketers but so do we.

"We didn’t start particularly well in the Championship last season and had to catch up with better performances in the second half of the summer, and we’ll be looking lay a marker down in the first game."

Finally, in a tweak to the 2015 scheduling, the 50-over competition begins somewhat earlier in the summer with Northamptonshire Steelbacks the visitors for a floodlit fixture on Monday 6 June, and Mick Newell is hoping to continue Notts Outlaws' fine form in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

"We’ve played good cricket in this format in the last two years and reached semi-finals," said Newell.

"That’s disappointing but the competition starts a little earlier this year, so there’ll be a different attitude and different pitches, and it’s another competition that we want to reach the knockout stages of at the very least."

The two counties last clashed in List A cricket in 2013 when Mick Newell’s men pipped the Steelbacks to top spot in Group A, by a solitary point, en-route to winning the competition against Glamorgan at Lord’s.

A James Taylor century - and three wickets for Samit Patel - guided Notts to an 83-rum victory at Wantage Road that year. Alex Hales and Jake Ball then did the damage with bat and ball respectively as the Outlaws secured a six wicket win.


The 2015 season has seen dramatic last-gasp four day victories, thrilling limited-overs contests and an historic Investec Ashes Test, all in the unique surroundings of Trent Bridge.

Next season, we’d wager, will be no less enthralling and frankly we’d hate for you to miss out.

Click here to secure your Membership for 2016...