Many of Nottinghamshire’s players and supporters have been eagerly looking forward to the forthcoming match against Hampshire at Welbeck.
After four years of staging matches in the Royal London One-Day Cup, Welbeck Cricket Club hosts its first Specsavers County Championship match and the fixture will also signify the latest important milestone in Chris Nash’s outstanding career.
The top-order batsman will celebrate his 200th first-class match and he admitted that he has been ticking off the last few fixtures in anticipation of reaching the landmark.
“Yes, I am aware of it,” he said. “It would have been quite nice if it had come up with the last match at Edgbaston, as that’s where I made my debut in 2002.
“You never think when you start out that you are going to play 200 games but it’s a nice little milestone to get to. It means you’ve performed well and obviously been a decent player to have played that many games.”
Nash added that he did not always notice individual landmarks but that has now changed.
“I didn’t really do it throughout my career but now, at my age, it gives me a lot of pride to have maintained my levels for this length of time, almost 17 years,” he said.
“I’ve just passed 12,000 runs in first-class cricket and all those little bits that you look back on and reflect, it makes you feel quite proud to have done it and I know my parents and my family are quite proud of it too.”
Over such a long stretch there have been many highlights but the stand-out ones are quite obvious.
“Obviously to score my first hundred was special,” he revealed. “It came up at Old Trafford and I’d had to wait quite a while for it.
“Then there’s the special feeling of captaining my home county (Sussex) and also captaining them at my old club.”
Nash had started his cricketing experiences at his hometown club, Horsham – an out-ground regularly used by Sussex.
“To score a 100 at Horsham was always a big one for me,” he beamed. “And I did it in front of all my family and friends and all my mentors at my home club.
“I’d been there since I was six years old and it was always my ambition to score a county hundred there and I got 160 against Derbyshire. That was probably the most special moment of my life.”
Aside from individual achievements, being part of a hugely successful Sussex side will always be a big part of the Nash story.
“Any time that you play well and score hundreds, they are great moments but I was fortunate to win two county championships with Sussex in 2006 and 2007,” he said.
“I take pride in being a part of some really good teams and am thankful that I’ve had some great people to play with and played against some of the greatest players in the world.
“When you get to 200 games you look back and there have been some cool experiences, facing great bowlers and sometimes bowling to great batsmen.
“And really, it’s also just about having some really good fun along the way.”
Nash has no plans to leave the game just yet but is looking ahead.
“I hope I can carry on as long as they want me,” he smiled. “I’ve got another year after this, I’ll be 37 next year and if anyone had said at the start that I would still be playing at 36 or 37 I would have laughed but I’ll keep going. I’m fit and well and hopefully can get some big runs over the next few weeks and see where it takes us.”
His future plans definitely involve finding a role within the game.
“Coaching is something I’m interested in,” he revealed. “I’m 36 now, so anyone who isn’t thinking about their future at 36 would be silly.
“For me, I still enjoy and love the game. I love working with people and do a lot of coaching outside the game and have done for a while, so it’s definitely something I’ll be looking to get more and more into but I still love playing for Notts and being with the guys.”
Nash’s battling innings of 85 helped his county secure a draw at Edgbaston this week and he believes that a first championship win of the season isn’t too far away.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work over the last few weeks and not got the rewards,” he said.
“It’s not gone as well as we’d have liked, so the Welbeck match is another chance to put things right and I know the lads will be raring to go.
“I played there last year in the one-day cup against Northants am looking forward to it. We’ve only just recently played against Hampshire, on the Isle of Wight.
“The wicket down there at Newclose was a great one and sometimes that’s what you get when you go to out-grounds. You get different wickets which actually go the way wickets should go over the course of a four-day match.
“They fall apart as the match goes on and it creates good cricket, so hopefully we’ll go there and there will be good pace and bounce. It would be nice to get some good runs there.”
- Nottinghamshire face Hampshire in the Specsavers County Championship from Sunday 9 – Wednesday 12 June 2019. The match will be played at Welbeck CC.