Nottinghamshire have shown their faith in Charlie Shreck by awarding the big Cornishman a two-year contract, despite the major problems of form and fitness he has suffered in the last two summers.
Shreck only played in five County Championship matches in 2010, and the year before that his 11 appearances yielded only 21 first-class wickets at more than 60 runs each.
But even though he will be 33 at the start of next season, the champions believe their 2007 and 2008 player of the year can regain his position as a key man in their attack – which could be crucial following the loss of Ryan Sidebottom to Yorkshire.
“Charlie picked up another injury at the end of last season so he’s working with the physio and the fitness coach,” explained Notts director of cricket Mick Newell.
“It’s been fairly slow progress over the winter, and we intend to find some overseas cricket for him in the New Year to help him achieve match fitness.
“His one-day appearances will be limited because our intention is to keep him fresh for our Championship matches where he has made big contributions in the past. It is very important that we maintain a strong group of quick bowlers and Charlie is very much part of that.”
Notts have signed Ben Phillips from Somerset to help fill the gap left by Sidebottom, but will also be looking for Luke Fletcher, Andy Carter and Jake Ball to assume extra responsibility.
Fletcher is playing club cricket in Australia, while Carter – who benefited from a loan spell at Essex last summer – and 19-year-old Ball have been selected as part of the ECB’s fast bowling programme. They have already been working at Loughborough and will head for India after Christmas.