Nowhere is the buzz of excitement around the return of the Specsavers County Championship felt more keenly than in the case of Paul Franks.
With 215 first class matches behind him, Franks has made a smooth transition into the coaching set-up at Trent Bridge and after a couple of years with the Seconds, he returns to the first team dressing room as assistant to Head Coach Peter Moores.
A man that lives and breathes Nottinghamshire cricket, the 38-year-old can’t wait to get going in his new role.
“Nothing has changed since that first game in 1997,” he said. “I started my first season then as a player and I’m starting my first season now as a coach to the first team.
“I’ll try to be calm because it’s my responsibility to be calm, but inside I’ll be ticking. I’m wishing the boys all the very best.”
After Moores was handed responsibility of first team affairs in October, he quickly promoted the county stalwart, who believes they’ve come a long way in a short period.
“We spent a lot of time together over the winter,” he reflected.
“Certainly, since the announcement came and he said he wanted me to be his right-hand man, we’ve spent a lot of time together at work and socially.
“We’ve got to know each other on a level where we can be forthright and frank when we need to and also be relaxed and enjoy each other’s company. I’d like to think there’s a good friendship building there.
“We’ve actually known each other for a long time. He was my England A coach back in 1999, so we’ve got some history together.
“We share good values but we’re not afraid to tell each other what we think.”
Known for speaking his mind, Franks has a simple message for the Nottinghamshire players.
“I expect a shift, I’m slightly old school in that fashion.
“I grew up in an era when you had to put in every day and come back the next day and do it again.
“So that’s my mantra to the lads, I’m not going to be too harsh or too critical if we’re being out-performed, for instance.
“But if I see our attitude start to drift, if I don’t see a desire to play for the shirt and what that means - and the cap and what that means - then it’s going to really hurt me.”
Nottinghamshire begin their Specsavers County Championship campaign tomorrow, Friday 7 April 2017, with an away fixture against Leicestershire.
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