Matthew Montgomery grabs his chance at Notts Outlaws

Any young cricketer looking for advice on how to grasp an opportunity would do well to seek out the rising Notts Outlaws star Matthew Montgomery for some first-hand tips.
Matt Montgomery has grasped his chance this season.Matt Montgomery has grasped his chance this season.
Matt Montgomery has grasped his chance this season.

The 22-year-old right-hand batter and off-spin bowler, whose 87 was key to the Outlaws launching their 2022 Royal London Cup campaign with a win over Sussex Sharks at Trent Bridge last Tuesday, is making a habit of seizing the moment.

This season has seen him make 80 on his first-class debut in England in addition to his competition-best 87 last Tuesday, which he believes reflects the progress he has made working with the coaches at Trent Bridge.

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“I feel like I managed to take advantage of the opportunity the Royal London gave me in a young team last season, when I did relatively well in that I was consistent without there being a stand-out performance,” he said.

“But I think over the last six months working with [coaches] Peter Moores, Ant Botha and Paul Franks here at Notts my game has gone to a completely different place.

“There is a lot more I can do with them, so it is very exciting for me and I’m really happy with where I am.”

Montgomery has needed the virtue of patience, too, after seeing his development stall for a year when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

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He had spent the 2019 summer playing club cricket in Yorkshire and the progress he made in 2021 might have come a year earlier had the world not gone into lockdown.

“It was pretty tough,” he said. “I’d been at Notts trialling and I’d had about three months of intensive training at Loughborough but then it all shut down. My family were back in South Africa and I spent most of the lockdown in university halls.”

After more trials at Trent Bridge when cricket resumed towards the end of the 2020 season, Montgomery made his Second XI debut in April last year - an opportunity he did not waste, scoring 147 against Warwickshire in his second match.

“All the cricket I play at the moment is very important to my development and I couldn’t really have asked for more in terms of how my red ball debut went,” he said.

“The Royal London is another opportunity for me to go out and do my best. “It is a matter of taking it game by game and seeing where it goes.”