The NatWest T20 Blast launches this Friday at Trent Bridge, as Notts Outlaws take on Lancashire Lightning in the tournament curtain raiser.
Former Outlaw Matt Wood excelled for the county between 2008 and 2010, scoring nearly 2,000 runs across all formats, and the 20-over game holds fond memories for him.
“Twenty20 cricket was always exciting to play in,” said Wood.
“There were obviously good crowds at Trent Bridge, and the atmosphere for some of the games was fantastic.
“Particularly during the last year I was here, we did very well and were unfortunate to get knocked out by Somerset in the semi-final.
“You always look to beat your former clubs. But they were a very good side, and have done exceptionally well in Twenty20 cricket over the past few years.”
As well as enjoying his time under the floodlights at Trent Bridge, Wood is now working to nurture the finest cricketing talent in the county, overseeing Nottinghamshire’s Emerging Player Programme.
“You want more and more people getting involved with cricket,” he said.
“Whether that be watching it or playing it and you have to cater for all in the type of cricket you give people.
“Twenty20 cricket brings in a new audience which can only be good for the game.”
Wood’s time with Nottinghamshire saw him play alongside England internationals Stuart Briad and Graeme Swann and an emerging Alex Hales in his final season, but one man stood out above most, a player who has become synonymous with the stag, the quintessential Notts Outlaw.
“David Hussey was exceptional,” said Wood.
“He just had the ability to take games away from people in four overs.
“He was captain for that year too, and his captaincy was excellent, he was very relaxed and brought that approach to how we played cricket and it gave players the chance to express themselves.
“Beating Derbyshire at Derby was a standout memory.
“Personally, that was my highlight, reaching 60 not out and batting alongside David Hussey, we saw Notts home."
Wood and Hussey’s work against Derbyshire remains one of the side’s most impressive from that summer, and ahead of the 2014 tournament, the rumour mill has been turning once more. With rumblings of a possible return to professional cricket for Andrew Flintoff with Lancashire, and whispers of Hussey arriving at Trent Bridge, Wood expressed his excitement ahead of the tournament launch.
“It’d be great, he’s one of the best T20 players in the world and having him play here in the summer would add to what is an exceptional batting side,” he said.
“We’ve had Friday night matches here in the past, even in my playing days and they were always well supported, and obviously the marketing campaign has been exceptional.
“You just hope that you get good crowds and the spread over a longer period of time will get more people involved than in previous games which have had two or three games in a week."
Notts Outlaws NatWest T20 Blast Fixtures & Ticket Information
Supporters can purchase discounted tickets for Friday's NatWest T20 Blast opener against Lancashire Lightning until midnight on Thursday.
v Lancashire Lightning - Friday 16 May 6.30pm BUY TICKETS
TICKET OFFER Adults £10 / U16s £5 / U21s £7 / Over 65s £7
v Worcestershire Rapids – Friday 23 May 6pm BUY TICKETS
v Durham Jets – Friday 30 May 6pm BUY TICKETS
v Birmingham Bears – Friday 13 June 6pm BUY TICKETS
v Derbyshire Falcons – Friday 20 June 6pm BUY TICKETS
v Yorkshire Vikings – Saturday 28 June 2.30pm BUY TICKETS
v Leicestershire Foxes – Sunday 20 July 2.30pm BUY TICKETS
Season tickets include access to all seven group stage home fixtures and a no rain guarantee. Click here to secure your seat. Adults £70 / Over 65s £49 / Families £175 / Under 21s £35 / Under 16s £25
Need more information? Call our ticket office on 0844 8118711.
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