Joe Clarke and Paul Coughlin are set for their Nottinghamshire first-class debuts as Peter Moores fine-tunes his side before the start of the County Championship season.

Nottinghamshire face Cambridge MCCU on Sunday in their final friendly fixture before Andrew Gale’s Yorkshire side, which is set to include Joe Root, head to Trent Bridge next week.

Moores has overseen a remodelling of the Nottinghamshire squad over the winter, and he is happy with the make-up of the side.

“One of the indicators for us of how strong this side is was having six players representing the England Lions over the winter, as well as two playing for the England senior side. It’s a great, healthy place for us to be as a club,” said Moores.

“The average age of the squad has probably gone from early-30s to mid-20s, and there’s a good buzz about the group.”

The match at Fenner’s follows on from a pre-season tour of South Africa and three days of warm-up cricket at home against Northants, which gave the squad vital time to re-acclimatise to English conditions.

And Moores is preparing to use this final pre-season game to finalise the XI which will play in the Specsavers County Championship opener.

“[The side against Cambridge] will be close to the team we’ll play against Yorkshire,” said Moores.

“All the lads are very keen to get into that team because if you’re playing in that fixture, there’s a great chance you’ll be in the side [for the Yorkshire game].

“People are backing each other to succeed, but there is an underlying competitive edge to the squad.”

Moores has been satisfied with his side’s performance throughout pre-season, but he is aware that more work needs to be done this week to be ready for competitive action.

“As a player, at the moment you’re trying to get your disciplines right so you’re feeling like you’re in ‘match mode’.

“We’ve played good cricket in the friendlies, but I think we’ve still got a couple of little things to do to get to where we need to be for that first game.”

Cambridge has been a frequent pre-season haunt for Notts.

This will be the fourth consecutive season that a trip to Fenner’s will have acted as the curtain-raiser for the side’s first-class season, with the green-and-golds unbeaten in the previous three meetings.

Nottinghamshire 13-man squad to face Cambridge MCCU: Jake Ball, Joe Clarke, Paul Coughlin, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Mark Footitt, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney, Chris Nash, Samit Patel, Ben Slater, Luke Wood.


Nottinghamshire begin their Specsavers County Championship campaign at Trent Bridge on Friday 5 April against Yorkshire. You can watch every ball of their campaign, as well as all seven T20 Vitality Blast games and all four Royal London One-Day Cup matches from £29 as a Member. Find out more here....