After ten years with Nottinghamshire, and two as his county's captain, Steven Mullaney has seen almost all the domestic game has to offer.

The unmatchable highs of promotion and trophy triumphs, the devastating depths of relegation, the sheer honour of being asked to lead his club – all have come the all-rounder's way in the past decade.

But never before has a season unfolded quite like this – and it is a situation which has led the skipper to focus anew on what really matters as a cricketer.

“I just want to say we’re thinking about all the members and fans,” says Mullaney, speaking from home.

“We want to get out there as much as anyone, and whenever that day comes, we’ll get out there and make you proud. We’re missing it as much as you.”

The Notts squad are contending with a cricket-free early-summer whilst also missing the routine and camaraderie of life in professional sport.

Accustomed to spending much of the year as a tight-knit travelling unit, the team are now spread across the country, from Mullaney in Nottingham to Chris Nash on the south coast.

Dan Christian, originally due to arrive in May for the Vitality Blast, remains locked down in Australia.

It’s a change of pace which Mullaney admits has taken some getting used to.

“I’m a massive extrovert, and you all get so used to being in that team environment,” he admits.

“I think the lockdown came at the worst possible time from a cricketing point of view as well. We’d had such a good winter, got really close as a squad, and I was really excited to see what we could do.

“Everyone’s champing at the bit to get back, but we understand it’s a long process. It’s out of our control really.”

As the wait for cricket’s return continues, so does the absence of a formalised training programme.

Having spent the previous few months progressing from establishing a high baseline level of fitness to honing skills in the tent at Lady Bay, the challenge now is to ensure all that hard work does not go to waste.

It requires commitment, motivation, and not a little creativity.

“Everyone’s champing at the bit to get back, but we understand it’s a long process. It’s out of our control really.”

“Keeping fit is important, because we will need to hit the ground running no matter what competition we might end up going into this summer,” says Mullaney.

“I’ve been running a couple of times a week, using a spin bike, doing weights and circuits at home… I’ve even found myself bowling into my kids’ trampoline on the back garden.

“I think Fletch was bowling on his drive in his full whites at one point, he’s that excitable!

“One of my mates from home asked me what I was up to in lockdown, and I said I’m actually probably busier than I would be if I was playing.

“There are lots of little things me and the lads have to discuss that you might not think about, but what’s really shining through is that we'd all take any sort of cricket at the minute if it was safe. We'd take a day of training, let alone getting out on the park!”

Mullaney’s lockdown hasn’t been without its lighter moments.

When Ben Duckett put a call out to the squad to record their own version of Julius Cowdrey’s Frontline song in aid of the NHS, he was one of the first to volunteer his services.

As batsman, bowler, captain and keen karaoke singer, Mullaney is a true all-rounder – and was happy to put himself forward to support such a timely cause.

“I don’t mind getting up on the mic and having a sing, as anyone who’s seen me at a Christmas party will know,” he says.

“I wouldn’t say anyone who sang has got a great voice – Lyndon (James) isn’t too bad, but we’re not blessed with singers to be honest.

“But the NHS are doing such a fantastic job, so anything we can do to raise awareness and a bit of cash has to be worth doing.”