Playing at Trent Bridge will be a dream come true for Nottinghamshire Women’s captain Lucy Higham, as the spinner prepares to represent Loughborough Lightning at the ground on Sunday 25 August.
The Lightning’s clash with Lancashire Thunder in the KIA Super League forms part of a T20 double-header, with Notts Outlaws taking on Yorkshire Vikings on the same day.
And Higham is looking forward to enjoying a taste of the big-match atmosphere the Outlaws have enjoyed in limited-overs cricket in recent years.
“It’s a huge honour for me,” said the 21-year-old, who has been part of the Notts set-up for the past three years.
“It’s a Test match arena and the support the men get for their matches has been great, so hopefully we can get some numbers into our game and create a good atmosphere.”
Lightning Head Coach Rob Taylor believes lessons learned from last season’s Super League heartbreak can help his side to be more mentally strong during this campaign.
Taylor’s side reached the final of last year’s competition only to fall flat on the big day, bowled out for just 117 by Surrey Stars to lose by 66 runs.
“It was a disappointment because we had played such good cricket the whole way through to finish top of the group and qualify straight to the final,” said Taylor.
“But we didn’t replicate that in the final game and part of that is Finals Day pressure.
“We just didn’t perform on the big day when there was a trophy on the line.
“We spent a lot of time together in the hours after the game looking back on the competition and we said we could be really proud of how we played.
“I do feel that we will have learned a lot from the experience of Finals Day.”
There is a new look to the Lightning playing squad this season, with none of last year’s overseas stars returning.
Australian batters Rachel Haynes and Elyse Villani and New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine give way to West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu and the hugely-experienced South African Mignon du Preez.
They will be supported by the Nottinghamshire duo of Kirstie Gordon and Jenny Gunn, alongside their England teammates Amy Jones and skipper Georgia Elwiss.
Gordon returns to the Lightning having led the KSL wicket-taking chart last season, and Taylor says he takes particular satisfaction in seeing players go on to gain international recognition after stints with his outfit.
“Last year we had two girls in Kirstie Gordon and Linsey Smith, who went off to the World T20 on the back of their seasons here, having never played for England before,” he said.
“That’s something as a coaching group we are really proud of.”
There are three further opportunities to catch the Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer, with the next home game under the lights against Derbyshire Falcons on Friday 16 August.