2008 County Preview - Nottinghamshire
With so much hype about having a team that could successfully defend their title in the 2006 season after winning the County Championship the previous year, Nottinghamshire really did fail to turn up for a majority of the season and as a result were relegated. In 2007, they bounced back and were promoted in the longer format of the game and rounded off a successful one day season, by finishing second place in the Pro40.
Notts again did well in the Friends Provident Trophy, finishing third in their group, and also topped the North division in the 2007 Twenty20 season. This is no doubt due to having such great one day performers, such as David Hussey and Mark Ealham, who offer plenty of experience and can be lethal at the crease as they can hit the maximums pretty much from the start of their innings. Hussey will be vital as he adds that extra class in the middle of the Outlaws order. He is destructive in all formats of the game and has had a good season down under with his home state Victoria.
For the 2008 season, Nottinghamshire have strengthened their team with England international Stuart Broad and opening batsman Matthew Wood. Wood is a like for like
swap with Jason Gallian, who has moved on to Essex after a disappointing season with the bat. Wood lacked opportunities at Somerset, but should flourish on a good Trent Bridge track if he is given a chance at the top of the order.
The likes of Samit Patel, who was simply brilliant in all forms of the game last year will look to continue his rich form and look to find himself in an England shirt. He also has the ability to bowl tidily and may take a heavier work load with Swann impressing for England. Charlie Shreck is a man who will look to continue where he left off last year,
with his selection for the recent Lions tour of India, shows just how close he is to a call up.
One worry about Nottinghamshire’s 2008 season is that they might have a few problems due to their increasing number of international players. Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad have all been touring with England over the winter, so Notts may have had to snap up a few young bowlers in Andy Carter and Luke Fletcher before the start of the season. Carter can generate great pace after a re-styling in his action whereas Fletcher also has abilities with the bat aswell as his pace bowling. Maybe this will be the year for promising youngster Mark Footitt to make a name for himself and fill the left armer role for Notts with Sidebottom likely to be unavailable.
The Outlaws definitely have the potential to push each and every side to their limit in the first division in both four day and one day cricket. Like last year, they will be looking for their batsmen to again score heavily with five of their top order batsman scoring at an average of over 50 in the County Championship. One of these players is
wicket-keeper Chris Read, who was the leading run scorer for a wicket keeper last year in both leagues. He will captain the Outlaws for the 2008 season and will be looking to have a successful run in his first year as skipper.
In: Stuart Broad, Matthew Wood, Adam Voges, Alex Hales, Luke Fletcher, Andy Carter
Out: Jason Gallian
County Championship Division One: Top 3
Pro40 Division One: 1st
Friends Provident Trophy: Group Stage
Twenty20 Cup: Finals Day
Star Man: Dave Hussey
Top Tip: Samit Patel
By Pierce Morley-Barnes