Cricket’s version of The Big Reunion show will take place on Friday when Notts Outlaws meet Leicestershire Foxes at Trent Bridge in the NatWest T20 Blast competition.
Four players in the home squad will be hoping to line up against their former county in an eagerly anticipated East Midlands clash.
England’s Stuart Broad, released to play by the ECB, will be in line to make his first T20 appearance for the Outlaws since Finals Day in 2010. His only other white ball outing for the county since then was the Yorkshire Bank 40 Final in 2013.
Broad’s team-mates are likely to include James Taylor, Greg Smith and Harry Gurney, all of whom began life as a county professional at Grace Road.
“Hopefully I’ll get the chance to play,” says Gurney. “It’s a fixture that historically I’ve usually sat out, either through rest or rotation.”
The 28 year old also had to sit and watch when the Foxes won the third of their domestic T20 titles in 2011, having been ruled out through injury.
His move to Nottingham, the city of his birth, had already been confirmed but he was allowed to go off and represent the Foxes in that year’s Champions League event.
“I went over to India with them,” he recalls. “That was my last hurrah with Leicestershire as I’d already signed for Notts. Unfortunately we didn’t qualify for the main tournament but it went pretty well for myself, personally – I’ve got fond memories of that trip and now I’m in a Notts team full of ex-Leicester players and we’re hopefully looking forward to putting one over them.”
There has been a huge change in personnel at Grace Road over the last few years, as Gurney reflects, “There’s not many players left from when I was there, certainly not from when I made my debut. It’s quite a different set up now, it’s been all change this year and there’s a new backroom team in, with Andrew McDonald in charge. He’s a good man who I played under when I was there and I know he’ll get them playing a good brand of cricket and we can’t take them lightly.”
Gurney is hoping that a decent performance or two in the next couple of Blast matches might see him return to the international fold, after being omitted from the ODI squad announced this week.
“There’s a T20 international following the five one-day matches, so hopefully I can make it into the 13 or 14 man squad when it’s named and get a chance to try and restrict someone like Brendon McCullum on the big stage, that would be great.”