Notts Outlaws bowler Harry Gurney has backed his fellow seamers to fill the void left by Jake Ball’s omission through injury.
Gurney was absent from Nottinghamshire’s LV= County Championship draw against Somerset but will be back in the Outlaws side to face Lancashire Lightning when the NatWest T20 Blast launches at Trent Bridge on Friday 16 May.
“Jake will be very frustrated because he became a key member of our white ball teams last season,” said Gurney, who is tipped to make his England debut in Friday’s One Day International against Scotland.
“He had a similar disappointment when he missed the YB40 final with a back injury last season but he’s quite philosophical about it and he will bounce back.
“The prognosis is such that he won’t miss the entire competition and there is plenty of cricket for him to make his mark on this season.”
Gurney highlighted Luke Fletcher’s display against Marcus Trescothick’s Somerset in the 2012 quarter-final as evidence that there is enough depth in the squad to maintain a threatening pace attack.
“Luke Fletcher hit 24 consecutive yorkers against Somerset and he would have played much more white ball cricket if he wasn’t so important to our championship plans,” said Gurney.
“That shows the options that we have in the squad and I’m sure Mick’s phone will be ringing with overseas options.”
Notts Outlaws have maintained an exemplary record in the group stage matches at Trent Bridge but have suffered three successive defeats in home quarter-finals. They have been installed as second favourites for the competition behind Hampshire and Gurney believes that home form early in the contest will set the tone for a Finals Day charge.
“The basis of our home form has been to execute the basics better than our opponents and that’s what we’ll look to do from the first ball of the competition,” said Gurney.
“It’s an elongated tournament and we’ve seen some teams field weaker teams towards the end of the group stage if they’re out of contention so a good start can be vital to take advantage of that.”
While Notts Outlaws have, so far, elected not to contract an overseas player for the tournament, they are not short of star power with 11 players in the squad to have represented England.
“Leicestershire’s capture of Scott Styris is an example of how a marquee signing can make a side a tougher proposition,” said Gurney.
“An international signing adds a lot to a side because of their experience and their ability to perform under pressure.
“We saw Ian Butler do very well for us last year but we’re blessed with a lot of talent in the squad and a lot of players with a track record of success in this format.
“There is no better opening partnership than Alex Hales and Michael Lumb and bowlers will not enjoy facing them at Trent Bridge.”
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Notts face the following teams on the following dates:
v Worcestershire Rapids – Friday 23rd May 6pm
v Durham Jets – Friday 30th May 6pm
v Birmingham Bears – Friday 13th June 6pm
v Derbyshire Falcons – Friday 20th June 6pm
v Yorkshire Vikings – Saturday 28th June 2.30pm
v Leicestershire Foxes – Sunday 20th July 2.30pm