In The words of Cyndi Lauper “Girls just wanna have fun!” After speaking to Andy Carter, Derbyshire County Club’s summer signing she could release a follow up entitled “Carter just wants to play cricket!” Maybe not as catchy a title, but no less true.
Given Carter’s recent opportunities at Nottinghamshire it is clear to see why he is chomping at the bit to play cricket, in his last three seasons Carter has been limited to just 12 First Class appearances, having to go out on loan to Glamorgan for four of them.
Carter is now keen to play more regularly and stick in the Derbyshire bowling attack this season, saying “I was a bit of bit part player at Notts, now I’m looking forward to my role here and being a senior bowler with Tony Paladino and being a main stay of the bowling attack this season.”
The change in role for Carter at Derbyshire is one which he recognises has changed his outlook slightly, just maybe not completely; “it changed the outlook off the field, I have to behave a bit more and be a bit more serious, being a role model for the young lads we have here, but I will prepare the same and do the same on the pitch.”
Derbyshire fans will be happy to hear that Carter’s previous injuries are behind him now and he was clear to point out that he wants to bowl a lot of overs, “the bad back I had has been fine for a couple of years now and I’m ready to kick on and play a lot of cricket.”
They will also be hoping to see more of the Andy Carter who took 4 wickets for 53 runs for Glamorgan at the 3aaa County Ground last season, when asked if he was looking forward to bowling in similar conditions again, the enthusiasm in his voice at the prospect of playing anywhere regularly again was clear when he replied “I look forward to playing cricket in general, after the couple of years I’ve had where I didn’t play much, whatever you’re dealt, whatever pitch you’re dealt, I always look forward to having a bowl.”
This may not be a sentiment shared by opposition batsmen though, if his teammate Tom Poynton’s assessment of Carter’s bowling is anything to go by, Poynton said of Carter:
“He is a big nasty, fast, ugly bowler that you don’t particularly want to be facing in the nets. He’s a different style to Mark (Footitt) but he’s definitely got all the aggression and character of a fast bowler that you want. I personally wouldn’t want to be facing him out there, so I imagine other people have probably got the same perception of him that I’ve got.”
With seven County Championship games in the first seven weeks of the season, Carter’s contributions could be vital for Derbyshire especially on the early season pitches and despite the change in the toss regulations. Carter is not expecting it to change his approach however, he just wants to bowl and take wickets.
Having had a taste of the England set up in 2011 touring with the Lions and seeing his fellow bowlers from that tour all go on to play for their country, you could be forgiven for thinking that Carter is desperate to get back into the England fold. He appears however to be purely concentrating on playing for and taking wickets for Derbyshire saying “my main aim is to focus on playing for Derbyshire and do well for Derbyshire, that is my main ambition at the moment.”
Having seen how happy Carter appears in his new surroundings, comfortable and relaxed with his new teammates and coaches is a point not lost on him. In fact, when we spoke the first thing he said was “it’s going really well, I’m getting on with all the lads and I’m really hoping for a successful season.”
I am sure with this Carter will be a success and help Derbyshire to be the same, a place where he has found his role, that of leader of the attack, senior player and regular cricketer is somewhere I can see Andy Carter flourishing and becoming the force of county cricket which he has shown he has the ability and potential to be.