On the day Trent Bridge hosted cricket for the first time in 2019, Paul Franks remarked that the venue is a key factor in attracting new signings to Nottinghamshire.
The Outlaws completed four domestic signings ahead of the new season and the Assistant Head Coach, speaking at a members’ forum, believes the club’s historic home had a significant part to play.
“Signing players is not straightforward,” he said. “But we have a unique selling point of one of the best grounds in the country.
“Everyone enjoys playing at Trent Bridge. That looks after itself.
“And the good thing about Nottingham is it’s not that big an area to get around, so you can make sure everyone gets to know each other.
“It gives us a chance over the course of the winter to really get to know the lads.”
Steven Mullaney, meanwhile, indicated his belief that the quality of the coaches made all the difference in persuading Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Ben Slater and Zak Chappell to join the Outlaws.
“I believe we’ve got the best coaching staff in the country,” the Club Captain added.
“We’re very detailed in what we do and this is a place where people can get better quicker than at other places.”
Pressed on his likely place in the batting order, Mullaney indicated that he intends to make full use of his own versatility as the season progresses.
“As long as I’m in the 11 it doesn’t matter either way, however looking at the balance and depth we have, it’s highly likely that I’ll start off in the middle-order. But if I have to open or bat at three, I won’t be too fussed.”
Franks also emphasised the need for flexibility, albeit whilst indicating that he has a strong idea of what the starting line-up will be.
“Steve will get the full support of the coaching staff and will walk onto the field with the side he wants,” said the Assistant Head Coach.
“We’ve had quite a bit turnover from the batting line-up we had last year.
“One of Steven’s key skills is his ability to bat in a variety of positions.
“We need to accommodate everybody in the right positions to score the runs we need so we can be in positions to win games of cricket.
“We may need to be slightly flexible, but we’re confident working towards a week on Friday of what that’s going to be.”
Nottinghamshire are working towards the visit of Yorkshire in the Specsavers County Championship opener starting on Friday 5 April; the perfect way to start the season according to Franks.
“Whenever Yorkshire come to town it’s never dull,” he said.
“We’ve had some really good jousts - some that have gone for us and some against us - and it’s a cracking game that we look forward to every year.
“We feel like we’re tracking in a good place to be ready to play.”
Over 100 members that attended the forum also received the positive news that Matthew Carter’s injury is not expected to keep him out for a lengthy period of time.
“We hope to have him fit for the start of the Royal London competition,” said Franks.
“The selection of spin in England is often based on the conditions, but Matthew is a spinner of very high potential and his winter with the England Lions has cemented that.
“We hope to get it sorted very quickly and he becomes a real contender to play in all formats for us.”
Both Franks and Mullaney, meanwhile, were fulsome on their praise of incoming overseas signing, James Pattinson.
“In 2017 we saw a player that was passionate, a player that was committed and a player that got the best from his teammates.
“From an overseas player, you can’t ask for any more than that, and we’re excited to have him. He was as committed as any player I’ve ever seen.
“He found our science and medicine department proactive in terms of looking after him – and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that every time he plays for Nottinghamshire, he’s in the best condition he can be in.
Mullaney added: “It’s been in the pipeline for a long time, but a lot of things have to fall into place and if you’re going to get the best, sometimes you have to be patient.
“I speak to him regularly and he can’t wait to get out and put a Notts shirt on again.
“He’s got family history here, really good friends in the dressing room and he can’t wait to help Notts win trophies.”
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....