Successful stint in South Africa for Carter

— Mike Worne contributed with this report

James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Onions, watch out! There is a new young fast bowler from Lincolnshire on the block.

Andy Carter has just returned from South Africa, having worked alongside fellow promising young talent with the England Performance Squad. Carter, 21, burst on to the first-class county scene last summer with Nottinghamshire, and after taking 91 wickets in all competitions for the county at both first and second eleven levels, he had planned a much more relaxed winter.

He said: “It was brilliant to be involved with the development squad, something that I had not planned at all. I only played a handful of one-day games and two first class games. Either way, getting the chance to go away and do something you love was amazing, even if it was hard work.”

‘Carts’ as he is known by his teammates, has taken the fast lane approach to professional cricket. “Being a first class cricketer is amazing! To go from being a plumber from the age of 15 to being a professional cricketer at 19, is such a different life. I try not to take the privileges of what we get for granted.”

Although Carter hasn’t had the luxury of progressing through an academy set-up, he was satisfied with his three weeks away in Pretoria. “You are always playing catch up with some things such as fitness and technical areas of the game.”

But, Carter’s short stop in minor counties cricket certainly hasn’t affected his mindset, and his feet are being kept firmly on the ground. “I have always enjoyed the game rather than letting it completely take over my life. The games that I have represented Lincolnshire in have been good because it was the natural stepping stone to the professional game.”

The start of the cricket season at the end of April will be the beginning of a hectic summer for Carter, who is aiming to cement a regular spot in the Nottinghamshire bowling attack, alongside England stars Broad, Ryan Sidebottom and Ashes hero Graeme Swann.

“The next step for me now is to make sure that I am on the same form as last year and that I am bowling at high speeds all the time, rather than just spells.

“Preparations for the new season are going well, plenty of time spent in my most loved place, the gym (not), and a trip to India.”

Carter hopes that with the backing of Lincolnshire coach Mark Fell he can carry on making strides. And who knows, maybe a trip down under this winter could be on the horizon?

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