The Green and Golds’ newest recruit, Toby Pettman, has heaped praise on the MCCU scheme after signing his first professional terms.
Before being spotted at a Centres of Excellence day in February of this year, the 22-year-old says that a career in cricket wasn’t an option he was likely to pursue.
Instead he buckled down at Oxford University, playing a handful of First-Class games alongside picking up a First Class degree in Classics.
However, having spent the summer under the tutelage of the Nottinghamshire coaching staff, the 6ft7 paceman is now ready to grasp the opportunity.
“I can’t credit the MCCU scheme enough,” he said.
“I joined Oxford as a decent schoolboy bowler who had done fine at that level but had no aspirations of going professional.
“But what’s great about the scheme is it shows you what the First-Class standard is, and highlights what you need to do to get there.
"I’m so grateful for the opportunity to come and train in some amazing facilities at Trent Bridge and bowl against some top-quality players."
“I realised I wasn’t quite as far away as I thought, and it gave me the drive to see if I would be able to make it.
“I can’t thank everyone at Oxford enough for helping me over the past four years, it’s been a very enjoyable experience.”
So focussed on completing his studies to the best of his abilities was Pettman that he nearly didn’t go to that Centre of Excellence day at Loughborough.
“I very nearly didn’t go on that day,” said Pettman. “I had some tutorials I had to change to make it.
“But I’m so grateful that I did, as it led to the opportunity to come and train in some amazing facilities at Trent Bridge and bowl against some top-quality players.”
Whilst many would have been disheartened to have seen cricket pushed back to latter summer months, for Pettman it was a blessing in disguise.
Instead of juggling the demands of his final exams alongside trying to make the grade as a cricketer, the tall seamer was able to put his sole focus on his studies.
“To be honest, cricket was never really an option for me,” he said.
“It has never been a case of prioritising; my studies have always come first.
“The only benefit of lockdown earlier this year was there was no cricket on when my exams were taking place.
“It would have been strange juggling the two and I fear both would have suffered as a result.
“So it was nice to set aside two months to work as hard as I could and come out with a decent degree result.
“It’s always been a case of fitting cricket around work, and now it’s nice to get the opportunity to have cricket as my job.”
It’s our great pleasure to declare that membership of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club for 2021 is well-and-truly on sale now, with top ticketing priority for our splendid international summer going to those who join our club.