Twelve months ago Luke Wood was part of the Notts Outlaws squad which reached and ultimately won T20 finals day.
Now the paceman is looking to help Worcestershire Rapids over the line in tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) Vitality Blast quarter-final with Gloucestershire at Blackfinch New Road.
Wood made six appearances for the Outlaws in the successful 2017 Blast campaign.
This summer the 23-year-old, who is on loan to Worcestershire, has played every game he was eligible for in the group stages and become a regular member of the Rapids attack.
Wood has relished his time at Blackfinch New Road which has been extended to include the Blast knockout stages.
He has been impressed with the quality of the Rapids performances and says it has been “no fluke” that they topped the North Group in the Royal London One-day Cup and the Vitality Blast.
Wood said: “Have it enjoyed this spell? It has been great, the way initially they welcomed me into the side, and then to give me quite a key role really.
“I normally would bowl one or two overs in the powerplay and then maybe bowl at the back end, or maybe one in the middle.
“The last couple of games I’ve bowled four overs. I know that they can chuck me the ball at any time and they all back me to perform.
“As a bowling group, we’ve been good throughout the tournament really.”
Wood added: “To get to another finals day would be nice. I’ve been there with Notts. If we play anything like we’ve played throughout the group stages…..we’ve beaten most teams and we’ve had a great tournament.
“If we keep playing like we’ve been playing, we will be in pretty good shape for the quarter-final.
“It is a rare thing for a team to top the North Group in both competitions. It’s like last year when Notts won both white ball competitions which is a pretty rare thing to do.
“It proves you are a good white ball side and Worcestershire should take massive confidence that they have topped the North Group in both competitions.
“It’s not a fluke what they have achieved. They are clearly doing something right.
“Gloucestershire have qualified and are a good team. Michael Klinger and Andrew Tye are good overseas players and they’ve got some good youngsters.
“No game is ever easy in T20, anyone can beat anyone, and we will just have to put in our best performance.”
Wood has been grateful for the opportunity to play regular cricket with Worcestershire for the past month and a half.
He said: “Notts have been monitoring how I’ve been doing but just let me get on with it, not putting me under pressure.
“They’ve let me come here, let me get on with my cricket and get on with the competition. Credit to Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire
“It’s nice to come into a different environment, see how other teams go about things. When this loan spell is up, I can take things back that I’ve been involved in, little things I can take into my game.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been brilliant for me.”
Wood relished the atmosphere of last Friday’s win over Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston which sealed top spot in the group for the Rapids.
He said: “It was a brilliant game. It’s a local derby so the atmosphere was always going to be good. I was warned by Pipey (James Pipe), the Notts physio, about how it would be because he has played in a few of those games himself for Worcestershire.
“It lived up to its expectations and was a cracking way to end the group stages.
“Mo’s (Moeen Ali’s) hundred was brilliant. It showed his class and also what England are missing out on really. It was brilliant to watch.”