By Russell Staves
Chris Read reckons he is one of only a few players in the Nottinghamshire dressing room that remembers the last time his county appeared in a Lord’s final.
The Trent Bridge outfit booked their place in the Yorkshire Bank 40 finale on Monday night when they comfortably defeated Somerset.
Surprisingly, you have to go way back to 1989 for the last time Nottinghamshire were in a Lord’s final, when Eddie Hemmings famously carved John Lever for a boundary off the final ball for a thrilling Benson and Hedges Cup win against Essex.
“I actually remember that,” Read admitted to ecb.co.uk.
“I’m probably showing my age now! I have a feeling I was watching the very end of it with my dad. I remember them (Hemmings and Bruce French) running together and embracing when the four was hit. I don’t think many of the other players will remember though.”
Read would have been 11 at the time of Hemmings’ last-ball heroics but do not remind him team-mates James Taylor and Jake Ball had not yet been born when Tim Robinson lifted the B&H Cup.
“Now you are making me feel really old,” he joked.
“It will mean just as much to the guys who don’t remember 1989 to those who know how long ago it was and have felt the heartache of every season since.
“It’s massive for me. I am so proud of the championships I have been a part of a Nottinghamshire team winning. I now have an opportunity to try and put Nottinghamshire on the one-day map and win a long-awaited trophy.
“1989 was the last time we were here – they won it then, we need to do it again.”
Read’s charges have been the form side in 40-over cricket this season with nine wins in the group stage before their thrashing of Somerset.
You only have to cast your eye over their squad to see why they have performed so well. With Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Samit Patel, James Taylor and David Hussey they have a top-five to match any other side in the land yet Read says the Outlaws bowlers should not be ignored.
“We’ve got a very strong squad,” Read conceded. “You look at our batting line-up and it’s lengthy and strong. We’ve had guys in form and winning games for us.
“We’ve bowled well too. We’ve probably got less names in the bowling group but guys like Harry Gurney and Steven Mullaney have probably been the unsung heroes for us and Jake Ball as you saw in the semi-final – they have had fantastic competitions.
“In my time here white ball trophies have eluded us. Over the last few years we have become stronger and our squad has changed subtly with players of a high calibre in this form of the game.”
Standing in Read’s way of the YB40 trophy are Glamorgan, who surprised one-day specialists Hampshire Royals to book their place at NW8 next Saturday.
Read added: “Glamorgan are a strong outfit to have got to this final and to have defeated the reigning champions who have been the form team in white-ball cricket for a couple of years now, so they must be doing something well.
“We need to do a bit more digging into what has made them a form side. We will do our research and hope it pays dividends.”
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