Notts star Jake Ball has insisted his priorities for the coming cricket season lie firmly with his county after an encouraging 2017 campaign.
Following on from gaining promotion from Division Two alongside success in the T20 and Royal London Cup, Ball pointed out that the team’s ethos of ‘taking each game as it comes’, which has served them well, will be taken into the new season where the main focus is on the first five fixtures of the season, which are all in the County Championship.
And Ball is keen to point out that the team wouldn’t be resting on their laurels and will be pushing on to keep hold of their white ball trophies and perform solidly in the four day game, on their return to the top division.
Ball, who also has an eye on a recall to the England Test side in May, said: “First and foremost it starts with Notts.
“We were a little light on runs in 2016, but last year, albeit in Divison Two, we showed that the batters applied themselves a lot better and we know we have the ability to take 20 wickets.
“Hopefully if we can get the runs on the board, the bowlers can do the rest of the work.”
Despite the loss of some key players including captain Chris Read, Ball is excited about the additions of Ross Taylor and Chris Nash, which will strengthen a strong batting line up, and hopes this in turn will aid his England ambitions.
He said: “I’m trying to take every game as it comes and if I take wickets and put good performances in, hopefully England recognition will follow.
“I feel like I have a lot to offer and I definitely don’t think England have seen the best of me yet.
“I need to put the performances in for Notts and when the England chance comes it’s about taking it and getting a half-decent run in the side to show what I can do.”
The high profile decision made by his teammate Alex Hales to play only white ball cricket wasn’t something Ball could see himself doing, adding: “I love playing the longer formats of the game as much as I enjoy the shorter formats.
“I think it will be a lot more common especially with all the big tournaments and the kind of money that we’ve never seen before.
“In my heart I hope it doesn’t because I think Test and four day cricket are such a special part of the game. But unfortunately I think it’s the way cricket’s going to go in the future.”