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Enter the field for battle

The Excitement Mounts: By Will Jones, Broadcaster, Journalist, Author and Yachtsman


“Cardiff really has put on a great show this week; is it the friendliest test venue in England?” pondered Simon Mann in a summary of the first Test, forgetting that Cardiff is actually in the Principality.

“It certainly is”, confirmed Aggers, “with the obvious exception of Trent Bridge,” he added, averting a heart attack for all of those of us who have ever been lucky enough to visit this ground.

And, before you know it, here we are again. The Ashes come to Trent Bridge for the second summer in three years, and thanks to a dodgy local businessman who’s a member at Notts, a group of six of us muster every year for the TB Test, no matter who the opposition may be.

An Ashes Test is special, as any cricket fan of any nationality will confirm. And haven’t the last two at TB been double special?

It’ll be an emotional return for the baggy green of Australia, after Phillip Hughes played such a pivotal role in Australia’s hopes of winning the 2013 match.

A more arrogant player with less faith in his teammates might have tried to protect Ashton Agar from the strike, but Hughes backed his own experience and let Agar play his shots to get Aussie right back in to the 2013 test.

It was agony for England fans to watch the records tumble after fighting our own way back into the game with the ball, having faltered with the bat in the opening innings.

On the evening of the first day Darren Lehmann was out in his shorts and flip flops having a beer in the Castle pub.

The new open, laid back approach to cricket coaching. We gave him a bit of stick and he countered with some good banter and a photo oppo. Lovely bloke.

Evening two, and Ashton Agar was (un!) lucky enough to be eating with his family in the same restaurant as my rabble. He very shyly accepted our warm, tipsy (okay, drunken) wishes and congratulations for his 10th wicket heroics alongside Hughes.

But, with a twist in the tail, the Trent Bridge Test very nearly turned into the Edgbaston of the 2013 series.

I was worried at the close of day 4 and with another 30 added before a wicket on Day 5, it is was a proper Sir Alex Ferguson ‘squeaky bum time’. But a happy ending.

In ’05, England fans will remember Nottingham as the place where they really could start believing.

As Ponting walked from the pitch swearing at Duncan Fletcher’s chuckling frame up on the England balcony, and an elated England surrounded Gary Pratt after his wonder throw, England finally sensed they were going to get their noses in front for the first time in the greatest series. The crowd played a huge part in that win.

I look forward to the banter of the crowd walking across Trent Bridge, the fish and chips at lunch, the curries in the evening, reading the paper in the sun, and talking childish nonsense with a pint in my hand at 11am.

Trent Bridge 2015. Bring it on.

Will Jones has recently finished working the breakfast show at a radio station in the capitalist paradise of Monaco. A rubbish job, an addiction to cricket, and the prospect of an Ashes summer was too tempting.

Will is a ‘resting’ professional yachtsman, having raced and crossed oceans on legendary yachts such as Mariquita and Shenandoah of Sark, and intends to return to the high seas after watching his kids grow up. 

He is also a retired ski bum and combined this with his first job on the radio. The Trent Bridge posse is made up of Val d’Isere stalwarts, a half dozen devotees of the world’s best ski resort, including Nottingham’s very own Jeff Allen, chairman of the Nottingham BID and MD off Castle Sound and Vision, who musters the oiks for the annual TB pilgrimage. 


Peter Nevill: Trent Bridge Looks A Lovely Ground

England v Australia: 3rd Investec Ashes Test - Day TwoUntil today, Australia wicketkeeper Peter Nevill has never before set foot in Trent Bridge. His first impression, “it looks a lovely ground.”

But the 29-year-old gloveman has much more on his mind than admiring the historic venue.

The Aussies need to get back to winning ways and – with England leading 2-1 in the series with one to play – there is no margin for error.

“We have been focusing on us playing to the best of our abilities,” he said. “You saw when we played like that at Lord’s what kind of result we achieved, so it is just a matter of getting back to that really.

“I don’t think anything really changes. We again are going to be preparing as best as we can for the Test. I don’t think there will be any mental scars from the loss at Edgbaston. It will just be business as usual.

“Jimmy (Anderson) is obviously a world class bowler. They are looking for big shoes to fill for whoever comes into that role. But we aren’t going to draw on that too much.

“I haven’t really spoken about the pitch and Trent Bridge yet. I can’t imagine the wicket will be too dissimilar to what we have seen so far this series. I suppose we will just have to see what the groundsman prepares.

“Yeah it is a challenge wherever you are to adapt to the conditions and I suppose whichever team does that the best usually has a better chance of success and it will be no different here.”

Nevill’s selection for the Third Investec Test at Edgbaston caused disquiet among a number of big name former players who believed the gloves should have returned to Brad Haddin.

But the New South Wales man, who has contributed scores of 45 and 59 in his two appearances to date, is concentrating solely on the job at hand.

“I have been able to remain pretty focused and the great thing has been Brad Haddin,” Nevill said.

“He has been helping me prepare as best as I can for these Test matches and the way he has carried himself as per usual; a wonderful person, a very selfless person who is always fun to be around.

“I have known Brad for a long time and I expect nothing less from Brad. He is just a quality person through and through.

“I have just kept my head down and focused on what I can do to be prepared to do the job for the team.”

Broad: The Whole England Team Loves Trent Bridge

1436890302_stuart-broad1Stuart Broad, who will lead the England attack on Thursday needing just one more wicket for 300 in Test cricket, says the entire England squad loves playing at Trent Bridge.

Speaking ahead of the fourth Investec Ashes Test at Broad’s home ground where England could clinch the Ashes, Broad admits he’s been looking forward to returning to Nottingham in an England shirt for sometime.

“Living in Nottingham, I’ve felt the excitement for this Test match building through the summer,” he said.

“It is a fantastic place to play cricket and I don’t know a single England player who doesn’t love playing at Trent Bridge. Being my home ground, I can’t wait for this week to come.”

Going into the match on Thursday, England will be without the injured James Anderson, and Broad has vowed to take-on extra responsibility to ease the burden on his fellow bowlers.

“You don’t know what is going to happen, but hopefully I’ll take on that extra responsibility to ensure we’re not crying out for Jimmy over the next couple of days,” Broad added.

“I’ve probably not got as many wickets as I’d have liked during this series, but I feel as if I’ve bowled the best I’ve bowled for a long time.

“I’m experienced enough to know my time will come. Hopefully it’s this week at Trent Bridge. Without Jimmy we’ll have to work together as a unit.”

Match-day Information Guide: The Ashes At Trent Bridge

The Ashes - Captains Trophy Photo CallShould you be visiting us for the fourth Investec Ashes Test, this match-day guide contains all the information you need to ensure maximum enjoyment from your day out at Trent Bridge.

Hours of Play

Gates open at 9am with the start of play scheduled for 11am, with 90 overs to be bowled in the day.

Lunch will be taken from 1pm to 1.40pm and Tea at 3.40pm to 4pm. The scheduled close of play is 6pm.

In the event of rain or bad light stopping play, there is provision for playing time to be extended by the amount of time lost in the day up to a maximum of one hour.

If any time is lost from a day’s play and cannot be made up as stated above, extra time shall be added to the scheduled playing hours for the next day, and subsequent day(s) as required (to make up as much lost time as possible).

A maximum of an extra 30 minutes may be played on each subsequent day in respect of time carried forward from the previous day(s).

Time carried forward in this way shall be played prior to the scheduled start of play. Therefore, the earliest re-scheduled start of play will be 10.30am. If eight minutes is, for example, carried forward, then the re-scheduled start of play on the following day will be 10.52am.

A maximum of one hour of extra time may be played per day in respect of the aggregate of time lost from the day itself and time carried forward from previous days.

For example, if 20 minutes has been carried forward and therefore play has commenced at 10.40am, a maximum of 40 minutes only that may be lost from this day can be made up at the end.

Ticket Information

The opening four days of the match are completely sold out and entry will only be granted to spectators holding a valid match ticket.

Tickets for Day 5 of the otherwise sold out Fourth Investec Ashes Test at Trent Bridge are still available priced at just £20. Don’t miss the chance to watch the sport’s most historic contest and secure your seats now.

Food & Drink

An array of catering options and bar facilities are on offer throughout the ground to satisfy a variety of tastes and preferences.

Match Day Activities

During the Ashes at Trent Bridge, it isn’t just about the entertainment on the pitch. There is so much on offer off it too, with acts as widely varied as dancing, samba music, a gospel choir and street theatre sketches keeping you entertained during your walk to the ground and on the concourses.

Head for the Trent Bridge Inn Car Park pre-match, at Lunch and at Tea for the best of the entertainment.

Travelling By Car

The Eventlink Park and Ride Service will operate for the Investec Ashes Test Match.

Eventlink is a direct bus service run by NCT which operates approximately every 10 minutes from Queen’s Drive Park & Ride Site to Trent Bridge, costing just £5.00 per car for up to a maximum of four people (with a £1 surcharge for over four people).

For our Investec Ashes Test from Thursday 6 – Monday 10 August, the service starts at 9am, running at least every 10 minutes until midday. Buses will return regularly from 5.30pm every few minutes until an hour after the last ball has been bowled.

Buses only drop off and pick outside Sandicliffe Ford on Loughborough Road (within 100 yards of Trent Bridge).

Queen’s Drive is located just off the A52 on the south-side of Nottingham.  The Sat Nav postcode is NG2 1AP

Travelling By Bicycle

Supporters planning to take their bikes to Trent Bridge will benefit from cycle parking facilities in the Bridge Field Car Park on Bridgford Road.

Bike parking will be available from two hours before scheduled start times until an hour after close of play.

Travelling By Bus

Discounted bus travel has also been secured thanks to a partnership with Nottingham City Transport.

Ticket holders will therefore be able to travel on Nottingham City Transport buses for £2 when they show a valid match ticket or membership card to the driver.

Please note this offer is only valid on Nottingham City Transport buses in greater Nottingham, and after 9.30am.

Further information on this offer and to plan you bus journey is avalable here.

Travelling By Tram

The nearest tram stop, Station Street, is just a 15-minute walk from the ground, and anyone travelling from outside the city can take advantage of NET’s free park and ride facilities.

As an added incentive to take the tram, NET will be running its £2 return event ticket offer for all ticket holders.

To take advantage of the deal, fans need to select the Event Ticket option from the ticket vending machine before boarding the tram, and make sure they have their match ticket to hand in case of a ticket inspection.

Travelling By Train

When you arrive at Nottingham Station, look out for our friendly volunteers who will point you in the right direction for the 15 minute walk to the ground. More volunteers will be lining the route to ensure that everybody finds their way to the ground.

Special Offers Throughout The County

In Notts we love to welcome you; so much so that hundreds of local businesses are ready with special offers for Ashes ticket holders.

Just look out for and Ashes urn sticker on the window.

Information on special offers is available for download here.

Should you have an iPhone, the Love Notts app will also help you gain the best experience from the local area.

Looking For Somewhere To Stay

Nottingham Tourist Information Centre has an up-to-date view on the limited availability across the city and can be contacted on 0844 477 5678.

Tickets For Day 5

Tickets for Day 5 of the otherwise sold out Fourth Investec Ashes Test at Trent Bridge are still available priced at just £20. Don’t miss the chance to watch the sport’s most historic contest and secure your seats now.

Bayliss: England Must Be Mentally Prepared

England Nets Session
Trevor Bayliss expects an Australian backlash at Trent Bridge after the home nation’s eight wicket victory at Edgbaston.

The England Head Coach has granted his charges some additional time off after completing victory inside three days in Birmingham, but he has warned them to return mentally prepared for a difficult encounter.

“You don’t have the success over a period of time that they’ve had without being able to put those things behind you, as we did ourselves in this game.

“If we win 3-2, we will take 3-2. Obviously we want to win the next one and take the fifth game out of it. We’ll certainly be playing to win the next match.

“I think we can take some lessons out of this match. Some of the Australians will be under pressure, as we were in this game, and hopefully we will be able to build on that pressure in the next match and not let them up off the floor.

“The message to the boys is go away and relax for a few extra days but come back with their own personal plans in place.

“I think that was the big change for us in this game. I think guys had their own plans in their own minds and went out and did it. I felt in London that we just got away from our individual plans on how to bat and bowl against this opposition.

“Confidence is a great thing to have, but we’ve got to be aware that we had that after the first Test and we got to Lord’s and I don’t think we bowled terribly well with the new ball on day one.

“We’ve got to have that in the back of our minds and work out exactly what we’ve got to do.”

Michael Clarke was critical of his own performance in the aftermath of the Edgbaston Test, claiming his side have effectively been playing with ten men.

But Bayliss knows his fellow countryman better then to write him off, believing England must be at their best to contain the Australia Captain at Trent Bridge.

“Michael has had a long career and had a few runs of form like this in the past and he’s come back from them,” Bayliss said.

“The last thing I want to do or England want to do is forecast his demise because that’s just giving him ammunition to come out and score a heap of runs.

“He is a guy with plenty of experience and lot of Test runs behind him. We are certainly not taking him lightly and fully expect to see him in the next match.”