Harry Gurney expects to be firing on all cylinders when he arrives at Welbeck for Nottinghamshire’s Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Leicestershire on May 7 – because of the competition’s change in format.
This year’s annual clash at the John Fretwell Complex, Sookholme Road will be played amid a block of 50-over matches that follow in quick succession early on in the season.
All eight of Notts’ North Group games will be staged between late April and the middle of May as they bid for a quarter-final place, with the final on July 1.
Left-arm seamer Gurney, 30, believes that scheduling will help him be at his peak as he bids to get one over his former employers.
“The main thing from the players’ perspective is that the matches are in blocks,” he said. “It makes it much easier than if you’re playing Championship cricket all week and then have to play limited overs matches, as it has been at times in the past.
“In that situation, you’ve not been practising your slower balls and yorkers and bowling with the white ball, plus you can be shattered from bowling a lot of overs. Then when you get smacked in 50-over cricket, everyone wonders why!
“This way, you can train, play rest, train play rest and you can build up a better momentum.
“The time of year is going to be different too, and there is likely to be a little more in the pitches for the bowlers, which is a good thing for us.”
Gurney, who took 3-47 as Notts beat neighbours Derbyshire by 65 runs at Welbeck last year, is a fan of his county playing at an out-ground.
As such, he is looking forward to returning to the north of the county for the fixture with Leicestershire and said: “It’s always nice to get away from Trent Bridge, as much as we enjoy playing there the rest of the year. It’s good to play somewhere a bit different and give the ground staff a break and the chance to prepare an international pitch.
“It’s good to spread cricket around the county and play slightly further afield. The players like it and I think the supporters like it too.
“At out-grounds, it’s a slightly old-school feel in terms of the atmosphere with people sitting around the boundary eating their picnics.
“Sometimes at Trent Bridge, because it is such a big ground, it can feel empty if you have 2,000 to 3,000 there, but at an out-ground that same number will mean a full ground.”
•You can enjoy the comfort of Welbeck’s corporate hospitality facilities for £40 per person. It includes a three-course meal during the between-innings interval, along with free parking. A table booking equates to 10 places.
General admission is £10 (concessions £7, juniors £5), with car parking £5 per car. To book, call Welbeck on 01623 847468 and for more details, visit www.welbeckccc.co.uk
PHOTO: Richard Parkes