Nathan Buck arrived at Lancashire ahead of 2015 with plenty of experience despite his tender years, aged 23.
The right-arm seamer has been a key man in home county Leicestershire’s attack since bursting onto the county scene with great success in 2010, a summer in which he took 49 LV= County Championship wickets.
Leicester-born Buck turned heads in the process, most notably those of the England selectors, and he played 16 times for the England Lions in 2011 and 2012.
Buck endured a frustrating time with injuries in the ensuing summers, but bounced back superbly in 2014, his last at Grace Road, with 42 wickets from only nine Championship matches. It was form which saw him finish as the Foxes’ joint leading wicket-taker with Charlie Shreck, who played six matches more.
He credits the likes of Shreck and ex-England bowler Matthew Hoggard, who captained him at Leicester, as key influences on his career, and he is looking forward to adding Glen Chapple to that list.
He worked with highly-regarded fast bowling coach Ottis Gibson as a teenager, while he has also spent time at the famous Dennis Lillee Foundation in India.
Prior to his Lancashire debut, the former England under 17 and under 19 has taken 150 first-class wickets in 60 matches, including four five-wicket hauls. He was England’s leading wicket-taker at the Under 19s World Cup in 2010 with 13 victims.
Buck turned down offers from other counties to sign on at Emirates Old Trafford, and he looks set to play a key role in a new look Red Rose bowling attack in 2015 with the likes of Kyle Hogg and Kabir Ali departing and Chapple planning to scale back his playing commitments to concentrate on coaching.
“It has been a big loss for the club with the likes of Kyle Hogg going and Kabir Ali going, and there are some big boots to fill. I’m not going to say for definite that I’ll fill them, but I’ll give it a really good go,” he said.
He has also taken 43 wickets in 36 List A matches and 29 in 24 Twenty20 outings.
Ironically, his maiden List A wicket came against Lancashire at Grace Road in 2009, and it wasn’t a bad one either! VVS Laxman bowled. He will be aiming to add a few more notable scalps to his statistics, but this time in a Lightning shirt.
Buck had a frustrating opening season with Lancashire after just making a handful of appearances for the Red Rose in 2015. Injury curtailed his season and he is spending the winter in Australia playing grade cricket for Manly CC.