Nottinghamshire begin the new season with a first-class fixture against Cambridge MCCU at the FP Fenner’s ground in Cambridge.
The match will be played over three days duration, between 31 March and 2 April 2019.
Following on from the pre-season tour to South Africa and home friendlies against Northants, this will be a final opportunity for Peter Moores’ squad to take to the field ahead of their Specsavers County Championship opener against Yorkshire.
Head To Head
Nottinghamshire have faced the students of Cambridge University on 48 previous occasions, although for the last three contests the opposition have been appearing under the full title of Cambridge Marylebone Cricket Club University (MCCU).
Notts have won 19 of the matches and 25 have been drawn. The Light Blues have savoured victory twice and two further meetings were abandoned without a ball bowled.
At Fenner’s, the spoils have been dominated by the professional county, with Nottinghamshire winning 13 of the 37 matches, with 21 draws and wins for the University in both 1960 and 1963. No play was possible last year due to a saturated outfield.
This will be the fourth season in a row that Notts will have opened their first-class programme with a trip to Fenner’s.
The matches in 2016 and 2017 resulted in comfortable victories for the county side but bad weather prevented any play at all last year.
Heavy rain in the immediate days before the fixture left areas of the outfield sodden, causing the first full abandonment of a Nottinghamshire match in almost ten years; the previous occasion was a championship fixture against Durham, at the Riverside in August 2008, when wet weather on all four days also prevented the toss being made.
1925 | Nottinghamshire first played against Cambridge University.
1926 | Nottinghamshire’s fiery fast bowler Harold Larwood took a hat-trick to wrap up the students’ first innings for 106. Just two weeks before making his England Test debut, Larwood helped himself to figures of 8-6-2-4.
1932 | Cambridge University were bowled out for just 34 in their first innings, with no batsman scoring above seven. Notts went on to win the match by an innings and 267 runs, their sixth-highest first-class victory.
1959 |Keith Miller was one of Australia’s finest all-round cricketers, scoring almost 3,000 runs and taking 170 wickets in 55 Tests. After winding down his career – and in his 40th year – he accepted an invitation to play a one-off game for Nottinghamshire at home to Cambridge University. Miller scored 62 in the first innings but second time around, in-front of 5,000 spectators, he scored a blistering century, ending 102 not out. The match also saw Jamaican-born fast bowler Carlton Forbes make his debut for the county, picking up two wickets including that of Henry Blofeld, who later earned a reputation as a well-respected broadcaster and cricket commentator.
1976 | Two players who would enjoy long and successful careers on the Trent Bridge staff made their debuts in a home first-class friendly against Cambridge University. Seam bowler Kevin Cooper took four wickets in each of the students’ innings, whilst Bruce French enjoyed a competent match behind the stumps, taking three catches in the routine victory.
1984 | Nottinghamshire fielded four debutants against Cambridge University at Trent Bridge. David Fraser-Darling took three wickets in the match and Kevin Evans bagged two. Batsman Mick Newell scored 76 on his first appearance for the county but there was less to celebrate for Steven Mee. Although the 19-year-old took match figures of 2-63, he failed to score a run and didn’t play another first-class match in his career. In the students’ second innings, Rob Andrew, later to play for England and the British Lions at rugby union, scored an unbeaten 101. Andrew is currently the CEO at Sussex CCC.
1995 | On the opening day of the 1995 match at Fenner’s, Chris Cairns blazed a century from just 65 deliveries. The New Zealand international was eventually dismissed for 110 but his charge to three figures was the quickest of the season and won him the Walter Lawrence Trophy. Cairns is one of only four Nottinghamshire batsmen to win the Walter Lawrence Trophy, joining the names of Garfield Sobers (1974), Paul Johnson (1993) and Mark Ealham (2006). Current Outlaw Dan Christian won the award in 2014 whilst with Middx.
2016 | Three years ago, on their first visit to Fenner’s for 21 years, Nottinghamshire won the match by 517 runs, their second highest winning margin of all time. The county reached the close of the first day on 530 for eight, the most they have ever scored on the opening day of a first-class match. The Light Blues responded by only making 52 in their first knock, the third lowest total made against Notts this century. Sadly, the fixture will also be remembered as the last to be played by James Taylor. The England international batsman was caught at slip for 10 on the first day but was then taken ill. He was absent from the field for the remainder of the match and subsequently came the sad news that Taylor had been diagnosed with a heart condition that would necessitate surgery and bring an immediate end to his playing career.
Foot in both camps: Chris Scott
The Head Coach of Cambridge MCCU is former Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper Chris Scott. Between 1981 and 1991 he claimed 144 victims in 63 first-class appearances for Notts. He then left to join Durham upon their admission into the county championship
A handful of cricketers have represented both Nottinghamshire and Cambridge University in first-class cricket; amongst them Mark Allbrook, Augustus Bateman, William Bury, Gamini Goonesena, Deryck Murray, Tinsley Lindley and Anurag Singh.
Stats (Nottinghamshire v Cambridge University)
Highest Team Totals | Nottinghamshire 559-8 dec (Fenner’s 1936), Cambridge University 424 (Fenner’s 1936)
Highest Individual Innings | Nottinghamshire 200 WW Keeton (Fenner’s 1932), Cambridge University 183 HT Bartlett (Fenner’s 1935)
Best Bowling | Nottinghamshire 8-72 SJ Staples (Fenner’s 1933), Cambridge University 7-79 ME Allbrook (Fenner’s 1978)
A number of Nottinghamshire players are closing in on personal first-class milestones:
- Samit Patel (11,976) is nearing 12,000 first class runs, with 10,964 of them having been scored for Notts.
- Joe Clarke (3,943) is closing in on 4000 first class runs.
- Luke Wood (989) needs 11 more runs to reach 1,000.
- Luke Fletcher (296) needs four more wickets to become the 45th player to take 300 in first-class cricket for the county (Samit Patel 302 wickets, was the 44th to reach the landmark).
- Steven Mullaney (95) is nearing 100 first class wickets, with 94 of them being taken for Notts.
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....