Confident captain Dan Christian is hoping it will be a case of same again for Nottinghamshire Outlaws when they begin their defence of the Twenty20 Blast today (Wednesday).
Re-branded under new sponsors, the Vitality Blast competition begins with the Outlaws hosting Birmingham Bears at Trent Bridge in a repeat of last year’s final.
After 14 seasons of coming up short, sometimes narrowly, Notts finally managed to win the competition, providing the successful skipper with a host of memories.
No-nonsense Australian all-rounder Christian said: “I’ve watched the little highlights package on the ECB website quite a few times over the last few months.
“We played really well last year. We’re looking forward to defending our title, but we also know that everyone will be out to get us.”
Christian barely put a foot wrong in steering his side to glory in 2017, but he was left with a lasting reminder of the post-match celebrations. Waiting on the winner’s podium, with the trophy about to be handed over by the presentation party, Christian suddenly had the silverware thrust into his face, cutting his eye, when one of the sponsors made a hasty exit as the bubbles began to be sprayed!
But above all else, the 35-year old, who returns to join Notts for a fourth straight year, can’t wait to get playing again on one of his favourite grounds.
“I’ve been looking forward to coming back and seeing my teammates,” he said. “I’ve made some pretty good mates here. I love Nottingham and I love coming back and playing here at Trent Bridge.
“The support is always nice here, so it’s a great place to play. The crowd is so close to the ground at Trent Bridge. You don’t get that too often around the world, so it’s fantastic. You can hear everything they are saying. The members always get behind us and we always have plenty of kids watching us, so it’s a lovely place to play.
“We are going to have a pretty similar team again, which helps a lot. “There is a real confidence around the group in knowing that we’ve already been there and done it.
“But we know it is going to be hard. All the other teams will be keen to come out and stop us and I’m sure they have watched how we played our cricket and have tried to strategise how to get on top of us.”
After today’s match, Notts travel to play Northamptonshire on Friday and then Leicestershire on Sunday.