Cricket: Ormrod lifts spirits

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The Independent Online
Nottinghamshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368-7

Sussex

THIN times have visited Trent Bridge in the past couple of seasons. Nottinghamshire, by the high standards set in the Eighties, have underachieved in every type of cricket.

The decline cost Mike Hendrick his job as cricket manager last November, upon which the committee redesigned their command structure and, in March, appointed as senior coach Alan Ormrod, who had experienced Hendrick's fate at Lancashire in 1992.

So far, the arrangement is working well. All five completed matches have been won, including two in the Championship. Even the damage done by the weather to the present game, washed out for the second day running yesterday, may not prevent another success on Tuesday, when Surrey are here in a Benson and Hedges

quarter-final.

Ormrod won four one-day trophies in six summers in charge at Old Trafford, where team spirit became a driving force. Already there are signs of improvement in that department at Trent Bridge. 'One of the first things I said to the players was that I didn't want any cliques,' Ormrod said. 'It is a team game in which you are looking for a contribution from everybody.

'We have had a hell of a start, really. Thursday was a classic example, where we were 142 for five and could have been out for a low total. But Jimmy Adams and Kevin Evans got stuck in and made centuries.'

The West Indian Adams was Hendrick's signing and Ormrod appreciates the inheritance. 'I did not want too much to be expected from Jimmy too soon, but he has fitted in really well, playing more like an English cricketer.' Ormrod places a high value on experience. 'You can't have a team in which young players have no seniors to turn to,' he said.

Careful husbandry will be central to Ormrod's policy at Nottinghamshire. The prodigious talents of the 20-year-old Mathew Dowman, who made an under-19 'Test' record score of 267 against West Indies last summer, will not be rushed to the fore, in spite of pressure to give Dowman his head in the way that the West Indies have with Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

'Mathew will get his chance when he is ready,' Ormrod said. 'West Indians mature more quickly because they are raised in a harder environment. We have not got the talent in this country to risk wasting it.'

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