Date: Tuesday 23 August 2011
Nathan Buck is sponsored by Leicester-based Russell Scanlan (www.russellscanlan.com), one of the UK’s leading insurance broking and risk managing firms.
Here, the company’s Managing Director, Bryan Banbury, has a chat with Nathan about his career to date, views on local cricketing heroes, likes, dislikes and ambitions for the future.
How did you get into cricket at Leicestershire? Through a local junior club in the county or another route?
I’ve been playing cricket since I was old enough to hold a bat! It all really started with quick cricket at Grace Dieu Park, a small village club in Thringstone. There was never any excuse for skipping practice, as it was only two minutes round the corner from home!
As I got older, I progressed through the different age groups, playing for North West Leicestershire District at under 11s before being selected to play for the Leicestershire Young Cricketers at the age of 12.
By the time I reached 16, I’d joined Leicestershire County Cricket Club’s Academy, where my career really took off. I turned professional a year later and haven’t looked back since.
What is the best ground you’ve ever played at and why?
It’s got to be Lord’s – the home of cricket! I was even lucky enough to get a glimpse of the Long Room... what an experience that was! We didn’t do too badly against Middlesex either I seem to remember.
Newlands in Cape Town also comes a close second – it was amazing to play in such an iconic ground with Table Mountain towering over us.
Who’s the toughest opponent you’ve bowled at?
It has to be Mark Ramprakash. I was up against him when he played for Surrey and when I made my debut appearance for Leicestershire. Luck must have been on my side that day as I got him out for my first wicket!
What is your best experience of touring and playing with the England Lions?
The Lions 2011 trip was fantastic. I got to play with some brilliant England players such as Craig Kieswetter and Ravi Bopara and learned a lot about the game from them. And how can you beat island hopping around the West Indies – it was great to be able to take in another place and culture.
How do you feel about and deal with season setbacks, such as getting injured?
It’s really tough! But it definitely makes you more determined. You also realise what you put your body through and sometimes it’s just nature’s way of saying you need a break. There’s nothing like an injury to make you refocus your attitude and want to bounce back better and stronger.
I manage my sons under 13s team, what tip would you give to a young cricketer to help them improve their game?
Make sure you enjoy yourself! You’ll always be on far better form if you relax. And don’t lose patience with the technical side, it’s just as important that you spend time working on your skills in the nets as it is to put them into practice in a game.
How do you fare in other sports? Have you ever had to choose cricket ahead of another sport?
I used to play football for Leicester City so was always quite a sporty lad! Cricket had the edge for me though, so it was a relatively easy choice at the end of the day.
What’s it been like playing with high-profile figures and England players such as Paul Nixon, James Taylor and Matthew Hoggard?
They’ve all been so approachable, giving me hints and tips along the way for how to improve on the technical elements of a game. I’ve also learned a lot from them about mental preparation and how to keep things simple and focus on the job in hand.