As the home of one of England’s most famous folklore heroes, Nottinghamshire is where legends are made.
And should one wish to become a cricketing legend, there are few more impressive places to do it than Trent Bridge.
For those who are homegrown, the pleasure is greater still – and many of those who took to the field on the opening day of Nottinghamshire’s season did so representing the county where they were born and raised.
In all, there were six players on the field who cut their teeth in the Notts youth system, with Brett Hutton, Lyndon James, Tom Moores and Liam Patterson-White all featuring alongside stalwarts Jake Ball and Luke Fletcher.
In particular, Ball has long-standing roots upon the hallowed turf, with his uncle Bruce French having represented the Green and Golds with great distinction in over 300 first-class matches.
Ball’s early burst set the tone for what was to follow during the opening day of the season, with equal credit being shared among the entire attack as Durham rarely looked comfortable.
The England seamer, fresh from a stint with the national side in India, claimed the early scalps of Michael Jones and Scott Borthwick in one over as Durham were left reeling at 5-2.
Fletcher then scooped two wickets of his own, removing David Bedingham and Jack Burnham, James got in on the act with his dismissal of Stuart Poynter.
As Ball, Fletcher and James did the damage, Hutton and Patterson-White built the pressure with tight spells, and Moores finished the job with some fine glovework on three occasions.
It was a day that was testament to the conveyor belt of talent that has moved through the Nottinghamshire pathway, from Ball and Fletcher’s bows more than a decade ago to those more recent arrivals on the Trent Bridge turf.
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