Dan Christian has set his sights on leading Nottinghamshire to back-to-back T20 Blast titles, after signing on for his seventh season as one of the club’s two overseas players for the competition.
Christian first signed for Notts in 2015 as a replacement for Daren Sammy, and has captained them in T20 cricket since 2016, leading them to titles in 2017 and 2020, when he was man of the match in both the semi-final against Lancashire and the final against Surrey.
Having helped Sydney Sixers retain their Big Bash trophy this season after his move from Melbourne Renegades, Christian is targeting another title, and believes that Notts’ squad is as strong as it has ever been.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t go back-to-back,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “Look at the way Alex Hales has played in the last six months. Joe Clarke didn’t get much of an opportunity at the Scorchers but was absolutely belting them in the PSL a couple of weeks ago and Ben Duckett has been doing really well.
“Harry Gurney should be back from injury and Jake Ball is back in and around the England team so we’ve got an extremely strong team there. It’ll be my seventh season which is pretty cool. We’ve had a lot of success as a group.”
Peter Moores, Notts’ head coach, said that Christian was a “key part of the fabric” of their T20 side.
“We’ve established a really consistent record in T20 cricket, and Dan has been a major part of that,” Moores said. “He’s a true competitor, a tremendously skilful player and a leader both with his actions and his words. His all-round abilities would enhance any side in the world, and his big hitting and nerveless bowling were as crucial as ever last season.
“That Dan was happy to jump through all the hoops to come over and captain the side last year – and that he is so keen to to do so again this year – shows just how strong a relationship he has built up with Notts.”
Christian is Notts’ first confirmed overseas signing of the season, and the situation for their second in the Blast has been complicated by the postponement of the Pakistan Super League. While Christian has opted to play in the Blast, it is understood that the club had intended to bring Imad Wasim back for a third stint with the club, but he will be playing in the PSL for Karachi Kings instead.
Christian also backed Alex Hales in his bid to return to international cricket after a two-year absence. Hales has been the world’s leading run-scorer in T20 cricket since he was axed from the England squad in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup following a second failed test for recreational drugs, but Ashley Giles, the ECB’s director of men’s cricket, has hinted that there could be a route back for him.
“I’m not privy to the reasons there but all I can go on is what I see at training and what I see on the field, and what I see of him as a person around the team,” Christian said. “I love playing with him and I love what he brings to the side, both as a bloke and a contributor to our success. He’s been awesome for us.
“His Big Bash was unbelievable – that was as well as I’ve seen him bat I think, despite him having had a lot of success in the past as well. He looks completely in charge of his game at the moment and is playing beautifully.
“For his sake, I hope he does get an opportunity back in that England team at some stage because I feel like he understands that things could have panned out better than they did. I think he’s champing at the bit for another opportunity and I’m sure he’d do really well.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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