Toby Pettman is expecting a talented Oxford UCCE side to turn in a strong performance when they face Nottinghamshire in the Green and Golds’ opening friendly of the 2021 season.

Oxford graduate Pettman, who has skippered the University Cricket Club’s MCCU side in recent seasons, became part of the setup at Trent Bridge over the close-season. But the rangy paceman has fond memories of his time in university cricket.

“I captained the MCCU in some of these early-season games against First-Class counties a couple of years ago, and they’re really nice games to be a part of,” he said.

“You can sometimes feel like your backs are against the wall, but it breeds a really strong team ethos.

“Four or five of the lads I captained might be playing too, so it will be good to see some familiar faces and see how they’ve progressed.

“A lot of the bowlers in the UCCE teams have the skills, and their good balls will threaten any player, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re able to produce.”

“Notts train at a really high intensity, and give you all the opportunity in the world to improve as a cricketer. That’s exactly what I was looking for in a county.”

Toby Pettman

Pettman is completing his first winter as a full-time professional, having signed for Notts after completing a first-class Classics degree at Oxford.

And although he is still awaiting his senior bow for his new county, the 22-year-old already feels his game has improved since his arrival at Trent Bridge.

“I feel like I’ve learned more than I ever anticipated I would in these first few months, and that’s across all three disciplines of the game,” he said.

“It’s been great to work with Shiney (Assistant Coach Kevin Shine), and having use of facilities like the tent over the last month has been so useful in terms of getting that competitive edge and practicing against some really high-quality batsmen.

“But more than anything, I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to have a full-on winter to work on my strength and flexibility as well as my batting and bowling.

“Notts train at a really high intensity, and give you all the opportunity in the world to improve as a cricketer. That’s exactly what I was looking for in a county.”

Pettman is one of a number of additions to the Nottinghamshire bowling ranks since the end of the 2020 season, with South Africa international Dane Paterson signing for the club and Brett Hutton returning to his home county.

The young right-armer has been able to glean a wealth of insight from his more experienced colleagues in the home dressing room.

“It’s the level of consistency that the likes of Brett, Mull (Steven Mullaney) and Fletch (Luke Fletcher) display that is a real benchmark,” he said.

“They just don’t let the batsman get a breath of air, ever. Everything’s around the top of off stump, and they’re always threatening really good areas.

“It’s great to see that kind of thing first hand, and to be able to talk to them about some of the more technical aspects of what they do, such as how they mix up their overs and what sort of plans they have for different batsmen.

“For me, it’s all about trying to absorb as much of that as I can, see the standards they set, and set those same standards for myself.”


Tickets to witness Notts Outlaws’ defence of their Vitality Blast title in 2021 are now on general sale.