Spinner Andrew Salter is relishing his winter in Wellington, and especially the chance to work with the New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel.
The 24-year-old from Pembrokeshire is one of four promising spinners to have received Overseas Placements from the ECB for 2017-18, funding them to play club cricket in the southern hemisphere summer and also to receive specialist coaching.
Leg-spinners Matthew Parkinson and Matthew Critchley are working with former Australia twirler Stuart MacGill in Sydney – following in the footsteps of Hampshire’s Mason Crane, who made such progress on his Placement last winter that he became the first overseas player since Imran Khan to play for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield.
Salter has joined Hampshire’s Brad Taylor, a former England Under-19 team-mate of Glamorgan’s Aneurin Donald, in Wellington to pick the brains of Patel – who, in addition to playing 24 Tests for New Zealand, has become one of the most respected overseas players in county cricket in eight seasons with Warwickshire.
“It’s been a great experience for both me and Brad, working with Jeetan a couple of times a week, and then being able to try out what we’ve learned for our clubs at the weekend,” said Salter.
He claimed bragging rights over Taylor last Saturday with a fine all-round performance in Johnsonville’s victory over Petone-Eastbourne in the Ewan Chatfield Trophy.
The Glamorgan man earned impressive figures of 10-3-28-2 as Petone were restricted to 206 for seven in their 50 overs, then smashed 51 from 42 balls, with three fours and five sixes, as Johnsonville cruised to a four-wicket win.
“People talk about Wellington as the windy city, and they’re not wrong,” he reflected. “It’s definitely easier hitting sixes downwind. We had the best of the conditions bowling first when the pitch was green, and then batting when it had flattened out. It was a good win.”
Salter’s batting is more than useful, as he showed with three half centuries in four innings for Glamorgan in the Specsavers County Championship late in the 2017 season. “It’s 100% something I’ve always tried to work on,” he added.
“And I was quite pleased with how I finished the season. I’ve been lucky at Glamorgan to be able to pick the brains of some of our experienced players, especially Colin Ingram and Jacques Rudolph. And now we’ve got Matthew Maynard coming back to Cardiff, so I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
Salter will return home to link up with Glamorgan’s pre-season preparations in late February or early March, giving him another three months to benefit from the opportunity to work with Patel, and to bowl plenty more overs in the middle – with the Ewan Chatfield Trophy, Wellington’s premier domestic club competition, switching to a two-day red-ball format after Christmas.
*Article first published on the ECB wesbite