Date of birth: 10 May 2000, Johannesburg
If you’re going to make a career-best score, then you might as well make it a big one. At Trent Bridge against Durham, in the final match of last season, Matthew Montgomery recorded his maiden first-class hundred in just his fourth match for Nottinghamshire.
On an occasion sprinkled with a host of team and individual milestones, he didn’t settle for just reaching three figures but went on to make 178 before being dismissed, one of four centurions in the same innings.
The right-handed top-order batter had sampled the professional game back in the country of his birth, playing four first-class and four List A matches for KwaZulu Natal before moving to England to study. Those matches in his homeland gave an early indication of both skill and temperament, with an innings of 104 against Western Province.
A dual national, Montgomery scored runs aplenty playing club cricket in Yorkshire and Leicestershire, before trialling for Nottinghamshire’s Second XI in 2021 and playing 10 matches in the Royal London Cup competition that year.
Ben Duckett’s return to the international ranks for England opened a top order slot for Montgomery to take in the First-Class arena, and he responded with 80 on his County Championship debut against Glamorgan at Cardiff.
A reliable slip fielder, Montgomery topped the tables in last year’s one-day competition, taking 12 catches, three more than any other player across the counties, with most of them snaffled in the slips.
A promising off-spin bowler to boot, Montgomery signed a three-year contract extension at the end of last summer, keeping him at Trent Bridge until the conclusion of the 2025 season.