After a frustrating calf injury that saw him side-lined him for a majority of 2021, Nathan Buck is overseas gearing up for a big year in 2022.

The quick is currently in Australia training and playing competitive cricket as part of his pre-season preparations.

“It’s been brilliant so far, I came over to play seven or eight games and to get some good outdoors time in.” Buck said.

“I prefer bowling outdoors, as I think every other bowler in the world does, and it’s such a good experience to get away. We’ve had a mixture of everything so far, almost 40 degrees some days and then torrential rain one day too.”

It’s Buck’s fourth time playing in Australia, with previous stints in Sydney and Melbourne, and says the experience is invaluable.

“Training indoors through the winter is good to work on a few technical things but you can’t beat playing in competitive games through January and February.

“Over in Australia they use the Kookaburra ball in all formats and it obviously doesn’t do as much as the Dukes back home which is a good thing to work with.

“Something I knew I needed to work on was being relentless with my line and length and bowling with a red Kookaburra helps because if you’re off fractionally over here you get punished.”

Even though match practice is the focus, Buck is still maintaining close contact with the coaching staff back in Northamptonshire.

“There’s a lot of ownership of your own training and development when you’re overseas but I’ve still had a lot of chats with Chris Liddle to just check in on a few things, sending videos back and forth and of course with John Sadler.

“I’ve got close contact with our S&C Chris Lorkin still too so I’m doing all the same fitness and recovery work as the other lads, just in slightly hotter conditions.”

With less than two months before the county season returns, Buck has kept his focus on the year ahead at The County Ground.

“I had a couple of technical points to work on and catching up with some miles in the legs after last year and everything is going in the right direction to put me in good stead for this season with Northamptonshire.

“I’m pretty confident going into this year, I feel fit and healthy.”

“One of the reasons you come away is to keep your rhythm over the winter and I think that will put me in good stead for the back end of pre-season and then for the first County Championship game on April the 7th.