Brett Hutton has returned to Nottinghamshire on a three-year deal after turning down a new contract at Northamptonshire. The 27-year-old seam bowler came through at Trent Bridge before leaving in 2017 to look for greater opportunities in white-ball cricket.
Hutton built on an impressive first-class record while at Northants, where he took 87 wickets at 23.54 across three summers. However, he only played eight T20s and six List A games, and will head back to Nottinghamshire hoping for a second chance to establish himself across all formats.
"We were eager to keep Brett back then, but we also accepted at the time that he was leaving for the right reasons - to further his career and experience being a senior player over at Northamptonshire," Nottinghamshire's head coach, Peter Moores, said.
"We wished him well at the time and the success he's had over there, including bowling them to promotion in 2019, has been lovely to see. He's returning a better, more experienced bowler than when he left and that's exciting for us.
"Brett has ambitions to play all three forms of the game and, working with [bowling coach] Kevin Shine in particular, we believe there's more to come from him both with the red and white-ball.
"What makes him the ideal signing for us right now is his pedigree in red-ball cricket. The consistency of his Championship record stands up. He's been one of the better seam bowlers around for a number of years. Add to that the fact that we were lacking in fast bowling depth at times last season - and that Brett's a homegrown player, the likes of which we all love to see representing our club - and bringing him in wasn't a difficult decision."
Hutton made his Notts debut in 2011, and went on to take 106 wickets at 29.55 in first-class cricket. He was a key performer in Notts' 2017 promotion campaign, before also helping Northamptonshire back into Division One of the Championship - albeit that the two-tier structure is currently on hiatus - last year.
Notts, who were relegated with no wins and 10 defeats in 2019, will start the revised 2021 Championship in a group with Essex, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire and Durham, before returning to life in Division Two the following year. They were winless in the Bob Willis Trophy but finished fourth in the North Group thanks to three draws from their five games.
"The aim for me is to help Notts get back to Division One, then to kick on again and achieve things in the top tier," Hutton said. "Looking from afar, I could see that last year they were dominating games and that the signs were there of the club turning a corner in red-ball cricket. I believe there's a big part for me to play in continuing that, and I'm excited about competing for a spot in a strong and successful white-ball line-up as well.
"It will be great to get back on home turf at Trent Bridge. When it comes to finding a county I can be passionate about bowling for, there's no-one else quite like Notts. I'll be giving it everything in pre-season and out on the field next summer to play my part in bringing success to this club."