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What do Points Make?

What do Points Make? by Dave Bracegirdle

Just after ten minutes to five on the afternoon of Thursday 16th September 2010, Lancashire's Shivnarine Chanderpaul edged a delivery from Andre Adams into the waiting hands of Samit Patel at third slip.

In isolation it was just another wicket, coming at the end of a drawn four day LV= County Championship match. The deeper meaning to that dismissal was that it brought Nottinghamshire a sixth bonus point of the day and with it, confirmation that they would become the new LV= County Champions.

Amidst scenes of great celebration and joy, and with a general outpouring of emotion, it was nationally acclaimed as being the most dramatic conclusion to a cricket season of all time.

Much of Nottinghamshire's success was due to the meticulous plotting and preparation of their Director of Cricket, Mick Newell. Since leading the county to their previous domestic crown in 2005 the aim had been to strongly challenge for it once again. In both 2008 (narrowly) and 2009 (by a distance) they had finished as runners-up to Durham, but in order to go one better in 2010 some fresh faces were deliberately introduced to bolster the existing squad.

Neil Edwards, a left-handed opening bat, was recruited from Somerset, Steven Mullaney, an exciting, yet unproven all-rounder, joined from Lancashire and Graeme White, a promising slow left arm spin bowler and outstanding one-day fielder, was drafted in from Northants.

All would play a part, to some degree or other, as would Hashim Amla, the South African Test batsman who was signed for the first four Championship matches of the season.

So, having assembled a stronger squad, Newell guided them through a pre-season campaign which featured workouts against Kent and Leicestershire, plus a 3-day first class match away against Durham University Centre of Cricketing Excellence.

Dress rehearsals out of the way, Nottinghamshire's County Championship programme began in earnest on Thursday 15th April. Over the next five months there were more twists and turns than an Alton Towers rollercoaster before finally, as dusk began to set over Old Trafford, champagne corks were popped and the players hugged each other and sang raucously.

'What do points make?' tells the inside story of a more than eventful campaign.

About the author
Sports broadcaster and journalist Dave Bracegirdle spent his school holidays watching cricketing heroes like Sobers and Randall perform at Trent Bridge and has closely followed the fortunes of Nottinghamshire ever since.

He readily admits there have been more lows than highs over the subsequent years but the triumphant Lord's finals and infrequent County Championship titles have been all the sweeter when they've come along.

As a reporter and match commentator he accompanied the Nottinghamshire side home and away throughout their victorious 2010 season and was happily 'on hand' to help the players celebrate their Championship success.

Dave lives in Newark with his partner Karen, and in recent years has achieved his own ambition of playing for the county side - albeit for the Over 50's.


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