Influential all-rounder Steven Mullaney is already looking ahead to the challenges that lie ahead in 2018 after the best season of his career for Nottinghamshire this summer.
The long-serving Mullaney’s contribution with bat and ball helped Notts win promotion from Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship as well as the Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest T20 Blast limited-overs trophies.
Now, after being rewarded for his 1,171 runs and 41 wickets with a new four-year contract, the 30-year-old is determined to focus on more success when the new season comes around.
The right-handed batsman and seamer knows he and other players will have to step up and take on greater responsibility after the exit of some of the club’s most experienced personnel.
“Everyone has loved winning the trophies this year, but from November, we have to dust ourselves down and go and prove ourselves again, particularly as we want to acquit ourselves well back in Division One,” said Mullaney.
“I’m always looking at my game and working out where I can best contribute across all three formats, and we all need to do that as players.
“It’s an exciting challenge going forward, but also a difficult one. We are going into a new, post-Chris Read era, especially as other players such as Michael Lumb and Brendan Taylor have also left.
“It’s up to the likes of myself, Samit (Patel), Harry (Gurney), Fletch (Luke Fletcher) and Riki (Wessels), who have become the oldest and most experienced in the dressing room, to embrace that.
“We have already had a chat about it as a squad to make sure we don’t divide the dressing room into junior and senior players. There will be times where we are tested and put under pressure and it’s up to the likes of us to show how to deal with it.”
Mullaney has revealed that talks with the management were influential in him finding such a rich vein of form. “I had chats with Peter Moores and Paul Franks on how I could take things to the next level,” said the former Lancashire man.
“I was disappointed to miss the start of the season but I had more responsibility after returning to action and enjoyed that. To average over 40 with the bat in red-ball cricket and more than 60 in the 50-over competition was very pleasing. Now I want to keep putting runs on the board and chipping in with the wickets too.”