Batting all-rounder Matt Montgomery is relishing the opportunity to take on an the all-rounder role in the T20 format, as Notts Outlaws prepare to welcome Worcestershire Rapids under the lights on Thursday evening.

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Toby Pettman is named in the 14-man squad for the clash, with Luke Fletcher sidelined after picking up a Hamstring injury against Birmingham Bears.

Having made his Blast debut in 2023 with limited first-team experience of the T20 format, Montgomery has had to adapt to the format and overcome the challenges which naturally accompany it, and is enjoying every moment in both his batting and bowling duties.

“I’m loving the more responsibility I’ve got this year,” the all-rounder said.

“I always want to improve my bowling and I’ve been working really hard on it over the winter, so to get that opportunity is really nice for me. Hopefully I can take it into the competition and continue to grow on the bowling side.

“It’s nice to be involved in the game throughout its course, and I’ve always enjoyed my bowling, so I’m loving it so far.”

Bowling four overs in his 15 Blast appearances last year, Montgomery had a taste for taking on a spin role within the Outlaws side, and has been eager to up-scale his involvement with the ball this year as he continues to develop his craft.

“I’ve always been a batter, but I’ve always wanted to bowl loads in training and learn off the more experienced guys in the group,” he continued.

“It’s great to have this role and I’m just wanting to keep on learning from it.

“Before last season I hadn’t played T20 a huge amount so I had a lot to learn, still. I found that I had a few good innings amongst a few not-so-good ones, so there’s definitely been a learning curve for me in trying to be more consistent.

“The one thing I noticed in the T20s is that games come at you so quickly, it’s all about being on it for every game and not letting them slide by. I really do enjoy T20 cricket as I feel like I’m involved in all facets of the game, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

With the Outlaws falling on the wrong side of results against Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Birmingham Bears in back-to-back fixtures on Blast Off Weekend, Montgomery discussed how easily fortunes can change.

After the defeat at Bears on Saturday, the squad were reminded of the Outlaws’ tournament triumph in 2017 when they, too, lost their opening two fixtures.

“It was mentioned in the dressing room after Birmingham. It’s not an ideal situation and we’re not oblivious to the fact that we would have hoped for better performances.

“Sometimes in these tournaments, you need these kinds of results to give you a really sharp wake-up call and sharpen the team up. We are close, and if we continue to grow as a team then I think we can have a really good Blast campaign.

“It’s a momentum thing,” he added.

“When you’re not doing well, that can make it tough as the games just whizz by, whilst if you’re in form and the game is the next day it’s perfect. It’s important not to get caught up in the rush and blitz of the Blast sometimes, but just to keep coming in every day and do the same thing you’ve prepped for.”

Back under the Trent Bridge lights after further preparations in the midweek, Montgomery says his side are chomping at the bit to perform in front of home support: “If you ask any of us, it’s an amazing place to play cricket, especially at night under the lights. It doesn’t really get better than that, so we’re excited to try and get that result on Thursday.”