Mick Newell is hoping overseas signing Adam Voges will get Nottinghamshire over the line in next season’s Friends Life t20.
Voges has yet to put pen to paper on a contract, but his signing is expected to be announced by out-going chief executive Derek Brewer at the club’s forthcoming AGM.
The Western Australian enjoyed the third highest average (37.77) of any batsmen at Trent Bridge in the County Championship last term, hitting seven half-centuries.
But it was in the shorter form that he really hit his straps, with an average of 67.20 in the Clydesdale Bank 40 and 30.25 in the Friends Life t20.
And Nottinghamshire director of cricket Newell believes the 32-year-old may well make the difference in getting the club to the latter stages in the game’s shortest format.
He said: “He’s a good, solid middle-order player, who’s made an excellent contribution to our performances in the last few seasons in all forms of the game. He’s also been T20 captain and is a very good slip fielder; it’s a great package.
“Adam was terrific in the T20 last season and has done quite well for Melbourne in the Big Bash too. We want to build a team around him and Taylor, Hales and Lumb, and possibly Samit too, if he’s around.
“I’d expect him to take over the captaincy of that team as he did last year and I’d expect him to perform well in that role and with the bat.
“Over the last two years we’ve dominated our group and got to the quarter-finals only to come across Jos Buttler of Somerset on two occasions, which has scuppered us.
“But we’ve got a good young, athletic team that can go well in the competition by getting to Finals Day. I also want to get to at least the semi-finals of the one-day competition and finish in the top half of the Championship, which we didn’t do last season.”
Earlier this winter Newell also moved to secure the services of former Leicestershire’s bowler Harry Gurney, who was a key component in the neighbouring county’s successful Twenty20 Cup campaign.
And he hasn’t ruled out going abroad again to add a specialist T20 bowler should his attack need boosting nearer the time.
Newell added: “We’ve got this injury to Darren Pattinson that we’re monitoring and if we pick up a few more we may not have enough bowlers for T20.
“We’re fairly confident with the bowlers we’ve got, but if needs must we may well look around the world for a top quality fast bowler.”
Voges is not expected to arrive until the middle or even end of May, and will miss out on a number of early County Championship matches as a result.
But Newell is convinced the man whose century against Lancashire helped clinch the Division One title at Old Trafford in September 2010 will make up for lost time at the business end of the season.
He said: “We were never intending to have an overseas player for the start of the season as soon as we knew Michael Lumb would be free from his IPL commitments. But we’re pleased to have Adam for most of it because it’s expensive to chop and change.
“They don’t travel around in cattle class, these blokes, and business class flights and accommodation are a major expense on top of wages.
“England have also got 14 ODIs, four T20 internationals and then the T20 World Cup so you can quite quickly work out that Samit Patel isn’t going to be playing much for Notts after the end of June if he stays in the team.
“There are also two four-day games involving the England Lions in August, which could involve James Taylor and Alex Hales, so we had to make sure we had the number of batters in our squad that would give us strength.
“We could be two or three English batters down in the second half of the season and that’s why we felt the need to get an overseas batsman in.”