The left-arm quick claimed his fifth bag of seven or eight wickets on Saturday, snaring 7/33 as Brentwood continued its unbeaten start to the season.

Remarkably, Winter’s 40 Premier Division wickets have cost only 181 runs (at an average of 4.53). He also took 7/36 on debut for Brentwood in a League Cup game in April and has now captured a total of 55 wickets in all games for the club.

SACA Media had an online chat to Nick and asked him a few questions about his time so far in England.

Q: Hi Nick! We’ve noticed you have been taking a few wickets over there … what’s your secret? 

Winter: The key for me so far has just been using the lessons I’ve learnt in Shield cricket by bowling with the Duke (ball) and applying them to the English conditions. I always naturally bowl full and try and swing the ball, challenging the stumps to right-hand batsmen and looking to draw the edge of left-hand batsmen. The opportunity in England this season has also let me experiment with swinging the ball both ways and this has also helped in assisting me to claim wickets. 

Q: Are the team’s other bowlers starting to get jealous?

Winter: The team is very happy with where we’re at (currently six from six) sitting first in the League which they haven’t won since 2011, so everyone is satisfied.

Q: Adam Zampa took six wickets on debut for Brentwood Cricket Club this time last year so it must be good to beat that a few times already?!

Winter: Zamps messaged me prior to my debut reminding me that he took six wickets, so to get seven in my debut was nice and has kept him off my back. However, Zamps is very happy to see Brentwood doing well and I know he credits a lot of his recent success with Australia to his stint there last season.

Q: Have you ever taken nine wickets in an innings? What are your career best bowling figures?

Winter: I haven’t taken nine before in an innings, so my 8/29 over here is my best. The format switches to one day cricket now so it will be harder to get big hauls of wickets, given I’ll only have 10 overs, whereas we were playing all day cricket and I could bowl more overs. (Note: Nick then took 7/33 on Saturday!) I had taken an eight-for in Premier Cricket for Adelaide University against Port Adelaide, and also one last season against Queensland in the Futures League. 

Q: Tell us a bit about Brentwood and the area where you are living. What’s your daily/weekly routine?

Winter: Brentwood play in the Essex Premier League, which is the highest club cricket competition in the county. Brentwood is considered one of the stronger and more prestigious clubs, attracting the likes of Adam Zampa and Jason Holder in recent years - yet they have been lacking in silverware recently which has been of frustration. In terms of Essex (which is north east of London), Brentwood is a central suburb (where The Only Way is Essex is filmed). I have been training daily very hard in the gym in preparation for next season, especially since the group back home are getting stuck in with their pre-season. Then I’ll play Saturday and Sunday. Outside of that I’ve been travelling with Laura to Barcelona, Rome, Dubrovnik and Positano. 

Q: You love batting … have you made any runs yet?

Winter: I’ve found batting the hardest part of playing in England. The conditions are very dissimilar to back home especially when facing medium pace and spinners. The ball reacts so differently. I haven’t had much of a hit as we have won comfortably most games, only in the T20s have I made any significant contributions with the bat.

Q: Any other overseas players there in Essex?

Winter: No players that I know. However, Matt Short (Adelaide Strikers) is playing nearby and I have Harry Nielsen and Jake Lehmann in surrounding counties. Peter Siddle is playing for Essex so I have been speaking to him and organised to do some training with the county squad so that I am ready to go for JLT if selected. 

Q: Have you previously played any club cricket over in England?

Winter: Yes, I played for Plumtree in Nottingham three seasons ago. This was a huge period for me as I had just been delisted from the Redbacks squad and was lacking confidence but used the season in England to work on my game and regain passion for the game. I learnt a lot at Plumtree and made many lifelong friends.

Q: Will there be any opportunities to see some of the World Cup or down the track to watch any of the Ashes?

Winter: Yes, I have been in contact with our South Australian international players and I am planning to watch some games in London soon. Also, I have organised to do some net bowling with the Aussie squad in the coming weeks. Ashes will be tough as tickets are sold out and we return home the week of the Second Test (in August).

WINTER’S ESSEX PREMIER DIVISION STATS

7/31 (15.2 overs) v Wanstead (11 May)

8/30 (18.5) v Hadleigh (18 May)

2/21 (10) v Buckhurst (25 May)

8/29 (10.2) v Chelmsford (1 June)

8/37 (18) v Ilford (8 June)

7/33 (9.2) v Hornchurch (15 June)