Luke Fletcher knows importance of Nottinghamshire's clash with Warwickshire

The latest round of matches in the Specsavers County Championship spelled out bad news for Nottinghamshire supporters, even though their side were not involved.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 2:08 pm
Luke Fletcher knows Notts are desperate for a win.

The latest round of matches in the Specsavers County Championship spelled out bad news for Nottinghamshire supporters, even though their side were not involved.

Warwickshire’s victory over defending champions Surrey has plunged Notts to the foot of the Division One table - a hugely disappointing scenario after strong winter recruiting.

It is now almost exactly a year – and 11 championship matches – since Notts won a red-ball match.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Despite strengthening their top order with the signing of Ben Slater, Ben Duckett and Joe Clarke, Notts have struggled to put competitive scores on the board in recent times.

They will be looking to flip their fortunes around when they go to Edgbaston for their forthcoming match against Warwickshire, who now sit one place above them.

“It’s not been an ideal start to the season and everyone can see the sort of form we’ve been in,” said Nottinghamshire fast bowler Luke Fletcher. “But this match gives us an opportunity to play against a side that are down there with us.

“The word momentum is bandied around a lot in sport but it’s true – we need to find some momentum and then crack on. There’s still lots of the season left but we need to get the ball rolling.”

It has been a tough few weeks for the county side, losing to Somerset in the semi-final of the Royal London One-Day Cup, before championship losses to Essex at Chelmsford and then against Hampshire on the Isle of Wight.

“We were low after those defeats but we’re back and ready to go again,” Fletcher said. “The 11 who go out on the pitch need to turn it around.

“It has been nice to have a few days away from cricket to recharge the batteries. Some of the lads have been away and those of us with kids have been able to have some down-time and do normal, family things.

“I had a lovely time at Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park,” he laughed.

“Now it’s serious again. We’ve been back in for training and had a long chat.

“Obviously, Jeetan Patel is on good form, we are all aware of him and what a threat he is. We know what to expect at Edgbaston. The pitch will probably be spin-friendly but we’ll have James Pattinson back with us and Broady (Stuart Broad) is still available, so we’ll have our own strengths.

“It’s important we find our form quickly, we’ve got a run of county championship matches now so we can get into some rhythm.”

Individually, Fletcher has been one of the few successes for Notts so far this season. The 30-year old is their leading wicket-taker in the championship, with 16 at an average of just 20 runs apiece.

He also topped their bowling efforts with 17 wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup, as well as scoring some useful lower-order runs.

“There’s no fun in me taking wickets and scoring runs if we’re still losing,” he said.

“I worked on a few things with the ball over the winter and they are paying dividends. I’ve also taken some confidence from my batting form in the 50-over competition.”

Fletcher joined some of his county teammates at the World Cup Fan Zone in Nottingham’s Old Market Square on Thursday.

“It was great to see,” he said. “Big screens set up to watch the cricket in nice weather and lots of kids there, many of them in Notts shirts.”

:: Nottinghamshire face Warwickshire at Edgbaston in the Specsavers County Championship, from Monday 3 June 2019.