Notts Outlaws are back in action tonight as they take on Yorkshire Vikings in the opening round of the Vitality Blast live on Sky Sports at 6:35pm.
Captain Dan Christian will lead out his team at an empty Headingley in what will be his sixth year in green and gold as he skippers a 14 man squad that will try and go two steps further than what they achieved at finals day last year.
The 2019 competition saw Notts lose agonisingly in the semi-finals against Worcestershire as they fell one run short of reaching a second final in three years but with good history in a format that suits the style of Christian and co Notts will hope to be one of the forerunners again this time around.
The 2017 winners will be one of the favourites again this summer with the return of Alex Hales and Luke Fletcher boosting a squad that in four matches failed to win a red ball game in the Bob Willis Trophy although seamer Harry Gurney is out with a shoulder injury so will miss this weekends opening round of fixtures.
On coming back to Notts for this seasons T20 competition Christian said “This is comfortably the longest I’ve spent at a club as an overseas player.”
“To be going into my sixth season here is something I’m really proud of. I’m really proud of the success we’ve had as a club over that period, and that’s why I keep coming back.”
“I love the ground, I’ve made some really good friends here and I love Nottingham, so it’s always been a really easy decision to come back.”
The Australian born all rounder furthered “There’s a really positive feel around the group already, because the guys have been playing some good cricket in the past few weeks – even if they’ve not put the wins on the board in those four-day games.”
“We’re certainly out to win the Blast, and I genuinely think we can. I don’t think we played anywhere near our best cricket last year, but we got to Finals Day and should have won that semi-final.”
“With the experience and the hurt of losing that semi last year, we’ll all be keen to turn that around. Those kinds of feelings – of wanting to right a wrong – can really drive you on.”
The North Group match against Yorkshire begins a bank holiday weekend of three games for the Outlaws with a trip to Durham on Saturday followed by a home match against the Vikings on Monday with the top two in each of the three groups qualifying for the quarter finals with the two best performing third placed teams.
Notts squad to face Yorkshire is as follows: Dan Christian, Jake Ball, Matthew Carter, Tom Barber, Zak Chappell, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney, Peter Trego, Chris Nash, Samit Patel, Alex Hales.
*Main image @TrentBridge Australian all-rounder Dan Christian returns to captain Notts.