Test Match Sofa
Sydney beckons for paceman Gurney
By Dave Bracegirdle
The opportunity to grab a little bit of winter sunshine has always held a strong appeal and Nottinghamshire’s Harry Gurney is shortly due to join the list of county cricketers who are about to gain some valuable experience overseas. Fast bowler Gurney is heading off to play Grade cricket in Australia, a country he’s always yearned to visit.
“It’s taken a while to tick Australia off,” he says. “I’ve been to South Africa a few times, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies but Australia’s not one I’ve visited yet and obviously I’m very excited about going. I’ll be in Sydney for three months, playing district cricket which, I’m told, is a pretty good standard and it will keep my cricket moving while it’s rainy and wet here.”
The 26-year-old will be joining one of the most established and renowned clubs in Sydney, and he said: “It’s a club that Nottinghamshire have had links with in the past. I know Michael Lumb has played there and Paul Johnson has coached there. One of Andre Adams’ good friends also plays there so there are a few links to my team-mates here at Notts and they obviously put in a half-decent word for me and managed to get me a deal over there.
“It’s called Bankstown Cricket Club and I’m told that it’s Brett Lee’s club and the Waugh brothers – Steve, Mark and their other two brothers – all played there a few years ago. So, by the sound of it, it’s a club of good repute and I’m looking forward to getting over there and getting stuck in.
“It’s going to be a case of training on a Tuesday and a Thursday in the evenings and then playing on a Saturday. I’m hoping I might be able to do a bit of training with the Sydney Sixers but apart from that I’m hoping my golf handicap will come down a little bit.”
Gurney’s trip comes on the back of his first season at Trent Bridge, one in which he impressed in both red and white-ball cricket. “Originally I was just overjoyed to join such a great club and then to play as full a part as I did, across all three formats, was very pleasing,” he added.
The left-arm quickie played in ten of Nottinghamshire’s County Championship matches, claiming 21 wickets at an average of 33.95. Among his scalps were Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen. “It’s always nice when you come up against Test players of the calibre of those two,” he admitted. “Then to get them out is a great feeling.”
Notts eventually finished in a disappointing fifth place in the Division One table, something that Gurney feels was below where they should have been. “When you look at the season as a whole I guess you can say we were slightly disappointed with where we finished but for the vast majority of the season we were right up there in all three competitions," he said.
“Even on the final day, if we’d have taken two more wickets we’d have finished in third place which would have been slightly better, but that shows we’re not far away from being one of the best teams around and if we can improve just slightly then we’re going to be right up there in all three competitions.”
Before the 2013 season, though, Gurney now has an opportunity to hone his skills in a different environment, an experience he’s clearly relishing.
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