After beginning the campaign with two away victories, Nottinghamshire’s cricketers return to their home headquarters this week, when they host Sussex in the latest round of matches in Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship.
In beating both Leicestershire and Durham, the county have made the ideal start in their quest to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Not since 1994 have Notts been victorious in the opening couple of away matches and now there’s a chance to build on those successes in front of their own supporters.
“We’ve got some momentum, of that there’s no doubt,” said head coach Peter Moores. “It’ll be nice to play at home though. We haven’t been at Trent Bridge much due to all the re-development that’s gone on at the ground, so we’re looking forward to it.
“We’re playing good cricket at the moment but we take nothing for granted because Sussex are a good team. We’ll have to play well but we’ll take each game as it comes.
“We’ve got one more championship match before we go into the one-day stuff and this gives us a great chance to back up the two wins so far but Friday will be another big game.”
The bulk of Moores’ own playing career was spent with Sussex and he then enjoyed a successful period as their head coach, leading them to county championship titles in both 2003 and 2004.
“I did 20 years down there as player and coach and loved it,” he reflected. “It’s a great club. Often when you come up against the clubs you played for you get even more passionate about it and want to do well against them.
“This is a big game for us. We’ve said all along that this is a tough division but there’s been some decent weather around the country so far and we’ve had a chance to play well and win some games.”
Sussex started their own campaign last weekend with a home defeat against Kent. Moores admitted that part of this week’s preparation will be about the threat they pose but mainly he’s looking to get the best out of his own side.
“We’ve made a thing this year about focusing on ourselves, more than the opposition. It’s important to play the sort of cricket we want to play but of course whenever you play another side you pay careful attention to what they do and what their strengths are.”
Nottinghamshire hope to be able to include both of their England Test bowlers, Jake Ball and Stuart Broad, after each has sat out one of the opening two fixtures.
“It looks like everyone (of the bowlers) is available,” said Moores. “Broady has missed a game and Jake has only played one game, so we are going to have some tough selection decisions because all of the bowlers have bowled well.
“It will be good to get Stuart back in the frame. He was disappointed to miss out (at Durham) but he’ll be fresh and ready to go at Trent Bridge on Friday.
Nottinghamshire play Sussex at Trent Bridge in the latest round of Specsavers County Championship matches, beginning on Friday 21st April 2017, at 11am.