Divided loyalties for Carter
Andy Carter believes an Essex-Nottinghamshire Twenty20 final is what everyone wants to see, apart from himself.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 13/08/10 3:23pm
Pace bowler Andy Carter believes an Essex-Nottinghamshire Twenty20 final is what everyone wants to see on Saturday evening, apart from himself.
The 21-year-old, on loan at Essex from Notts for the remainder of the season, will not be able to play in the final should both teams come through their respective semi-final clashes at the Rose Bowl.
A 'gentleman's agreement' prevents Carter lining up against his parent club, who face Somerset immediately after the Eagles kick-off the day's action against Hampshire.
Lincoln-born Carter played in Essex's dramatic quarter-final victory over Lancashire at Chelmsford and is hoping he has done enough to retain his place to face the Royals on Finals Day.
"Hopefully I'll play the semi-final but obviously I can't play the final if Notts get through," he told skysports.com.
"It's going to be a weird day because obviously I'll be supporting Notts but I play for Essex so I don't really know what to feel or who I want to win. I'll just keep my head down and see what happens."
Carter returned figures of 4-0-44-0 against Lancashire in the previous round as Essex dramatically chased down their 183-6 target in the final over.
And, while admitting it was a difficult night for himself personally, Carter, who has found first-team opportunities limited at Trent Bridge, relished the chance to play in front of a packed-out crowd at Chelmsford.
"That was a ridiculous game - the crowd were just unbelievable," he said.
"There were so many people there, the atmosphere was electric and it was a bit overwhelming.
"It was one of those games, because we had reduced them to 80 off 12 overs one of the bowlers was always going to go the distance and unluckily this time it was me.
"I probably didn't execute my plans as well as I should have done but at the same time I was unlucky with the ball flying off edges. With the outfield so fast and the boundaries so small it was hard work."
Essex now face somewhat of a selection dilemma with a number of key players returning in time for Saturday's action-packed showpiece.
As well as having England opener Alastair Cook back at their disposal, the Eagles also have fellow internationals Danish Kaneria, Dwayne Bravo and Ryan Ten Doeschate to consider.
West Indies all-rounder Bravo has joined the county as an overseas replacement for Scott Styris, Kaneria returns having been dropped by Pakistan, while Ten Doeschate is hoping to overcome a calf tear in time.
"There is a middle practice on Thursday to see who's fit and who's not," Carter revealed. "There are a few players like Ten Doeschate who need to prove their fitness.
"I think they were trying to sort Bravo's visa out because there was a problem with that, but he'll definitely play and I think Danish may be able to as well."
Essex completed the double over Hampshire during the South Group qualification matches and Carter, while confident of making it three in a row on Saturday, can't help but look ahead to a final showdown with the Outlaws.
"We are confident because we beat Hampshire in both group stage matches, but if we do get to the final I would fancy us to be playing Notts," he said.
"They have such a great team with players like Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom, Dave Hussey, Dirk Nannes, Chris Read - they have a ridiculous team.
"We can match them though with Cook, Bopara, Ten Doeschate, Bravo and Kaneria - it would be some game.
"I think the best final for everyone to see would be Essex v Notts, but that would obviously be disappointing for me."