Club Cricket Conference

Saturday, 14th December 2019

Brentwood benefit from Winter's wicket rush

By Charles Randall

11 June 2019


Australians like to make an impact in British club cricket and enjoy the sociability, but as impacts go, Nick Winter has made more than most.

Winter, 25, the South Australia left-arm swing bowler, has crashed the Essex Premier League with 33 wickets in only five matches for Brentwood CC, guaranteeing victories in a non-limited overs format. Taking all competitions into account his tally rises to an incredible 48. Add another four wickets in an early season club game, and his total becomes 52 by mid June.

All this is barely believable for a bowler with a modest first class record due to a recurring side muscle injury four years ago, but he has forced his way back into the South Australia squad, and one wonders if Winter will find himself on the Ashes reserve list by the end of this summer.

Last Saturday the Australian shot half the visiting  Ilford side out in his first 10 overs and finished with 8-37 at The Old County Ground. The previous week Chelmsford were hustled out for 63 on their own pitch, with Winter taking 8-29. Before that there were returns of 8-30 at Hadleigh & Thundersley and 7-31 against Wanstead & Snaresbrook. Among the general carnage he took only two wickets against Buckhurst Hill, which allowed his colleague Ian Belchamber to nip in with 6-13.

There are opportunities to see Winter on youtube, bowling for his state. One can see a lovely flowing action giving vicious late in-swing at fast pace by club standards.  It is easy to imagine the Canberra-born bowler slicing through a lower order, especially in English swing conditions with the Dukes ball.

Winter was recommended to Brentwood by his state colleague Adam Zampa. The World Cup leg-spinner played for the club last season before a spell with Essex.  Aaron West, the Brentwood captain, said the club were fortunate to have a bowler of Winter's class. "Nick is thoroughly professional in everything he does," he said, "He's completely dedicated and a very good influence." Daily visits to the fitness gym suggests that Winter's career will not be blighted by injury again.

Due to overs restriction for each bowler, Winter has been less lethal in limited overs games, though very economical. Indeed Brentwood were eliminated from the National Club Championship by Chelmsford on Sunday -  a satisfying revenge for Chelmsford, who ensured the Australian took no wickets in his eight overs.

Winter played the 2016 season at Plumtree in the Nottinghamshire Premier League, taking a modest 31 wickets while still vulnerable to injury. He was not selected for a very strong Australia A tour of England, which starts at Northampton on June 20, but it is likely that news of the left-armer's wicket-taking has already reached the Australia camp.

In the meantime Brentwood will forge ahead at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex Premier League table while they still have the talismanic Australian in their side.

Australia A tour of the UK:
One-day squad: Travis Head (capt), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, Mitch Marsh, D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood,  Sean Abbott.
Four-day squad: Tim Paine (capt), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head,  Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood,  Chris Tremain.

Australia A one-day fixtures:
June 20:  , The County Ground, Northamptonshire
June 23:  Derbyshire, County Ground, Derby
June 25:  Worcestershire, New Road, Worcester
June 30: Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
July 2:  Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol

Australia A four-day fixtures:
July 7-10: Sussex, Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, Arundel
July 13-16: England Lions, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
July 23-26: Australia A v Australia, Ageas Bowl, Hampshire