Notts hope to fine tune preparations in Barbados
NOTTS CCC flew out to Barbados this morning ahead of a tour that Director of Cricket Mick Newell hopes will help fine tune their preparations for the new domestic season.
The squad will spend 11 days in the West Indies, along with a number of other English county teams, where they will play in a mixture of Twenty20 matches and two-day games.
It is the second time Nottinghamshire have made the trip to Barbados to catch some pre-season rays of sunshine and Newell says this is a big reason for the tour.
"In previous years we have done training things in South Africa, Portugal, Abu Dhabi and Barbados," said Newell, who is heading into his 11th year at the helm at Trent Bridge.
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"The weather is very unpredictable in mid-March and April in this country and the good thing over in the West Indies is that we are guaranteed good weather, good facilities and good opposition.
"With it being games against mainly English teams, we know the standard of team we will be up against will be a good test for us.
"Lots of our players get the opportunity to play abroad during the winter, touring and playing in tournaments and we are happy to let them do that.
"And so one of the big reasons for a tour like this is to get the whole team back together and working together for two or three weeks ahead of the new season."
Notts' first game is against hosts Barbados on Saturday at the 3Ws Oval in their opening game of the Barbados T20 Cup – which also see Warwickshire, Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and a local Combined Campuses and Colleges side (CCC) also taking part.
Victory, in a game being played at 11.30pm UK time, would put the Outlaws into the semi-finals the following morning – with defeat seeing them play in the Plate – and then the final would be later on Sunday if they qualify.
As part of their warm-weather training, Notts then face Derbyshire in a two-day match next Tuesday and Wednesday at North Stars CC, before facing Yorkshire in a match of the same duration on Friday and Saturday of next week, at Windward CC.
"The T20 games help to draw in a bit of interest, get a crowd in and make a bit of money for the Barbados Tourism Authority, who subsidise the tour," added Newell.
"The two-day stuff is more about our pre-season and getting ready for the four-day stuff to follow so is more relevant to us.
"We've got Derbyshire and Yorkshire in those games, which is good as we're playing sides who are at a similar standard to us.
"But we won't read too much into it for playing them in the season as we played Warwickshire last season there and dominated them and that did not have a huge effect (as they won Division One title)."
For eight of the squad, this is their second training tour in the space of a matter of weeks.
A group of the club's fast bowlers, along with spinner Graeme White, have just got back from South Africa, where they attended a bowling camp in Pretoria.