Notts Outlaws' 50-over captain Haseeb Hameed feels his List A Outlaws possess the mentality to succeed, ahead of their opening Royal London Cup clash against Sussex Sharks at Trent Bridge (Tues 2 August, 11am).
The 25-year-old has high hopes for the campaign, as he prepares to lead a squad which blends Academy graduates and internationally-capped stars.
“I think we are really well placed to succeed in this competition,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started. We came together as a squad on Saturday and talked with Pete [Moores, Head Coach] about the way we want to play our cricket.
“It’s really important that everyone is in the same mindset and that we gel quickly - the sides that do that best will be the ones who succeed in this tournament.
“My role as captain is to ensure that happens, but I think we are a side who are tightly knit anyway, and we know each other’s games well.”
Hameed himself is returning to the 50-over fold following a cameo appearance in the Outlaws’ 2021 campaign, prior to selection in England’s Test squad.
The opportunity to lead his side out is one he is grateful for, having previously captained sides in the junior ranks and at Second XI level.
“Captaincy isn’t something you go out looking for, but it is nice recognition of how other people view you and the way you go about your business,” Hameed said.
“It won’t be my first time as captain, having done it growing up and in Second XI cricket in the past, but I think I’m in a good place for it and I’ll continue to grow as the tournament goes on.
“I’ve got some experienced heads in the team who will be there to help, and it’s just the pace of the game which is a bit different from four day cricket.”
Hameed's maiden ton in the format came for the Outlaws against Warwickshire last year, shortly before his international call up.
While he may be best known for his exploits against the red ball, the right-hander feels equipped to tweak his approach for the limited-overs games.
“50 over cricket is a format I really enjoy. I have always said I want to play every game I can,” he said.
“I take each game as they come, but I view short format cricket as an extension of my four-day cricket, making subtle changes and adding shots.
“It certainly helps my confidence going into the game with a weight of runs behind me [912 in the LV= Insurance County Championship], but we are a squad who are full of belief generally.
“We have got players who have done very well either in First-Class or Second XI cricket this year, and young lads coming through who have got an opportunity to show what they can do on the first team stage.”
The Royal London Cup Final
The timeless pomp, ceremony and tradition of county cricket's historic 50-over final. 18 First-Class counties go head-to-head in this prestigious competition, aiming to emerge with the spoils at our historic venue. Secure your seats here...