Salts is a star in representing Pembrokeshire

Andrew Salter helping win the final



When Glamorgan inflicted a first defeat of their season on Surrey in the Royal London Cup it was Andrew ‘Salts’ Salter who hit the headlines with the ball as he claimed his best-ever figures in the competition with a 3 for 37 haul, who rightly received the headlines in the national papers for his canny off-spin bowling.
And just a little earlier in the current four-day campaign he achieved another landmark set of figures in the four-day match against Northamptonshire when he finished up with fine figures of 4 for 18, his best so far since he made his debut for Glamorgan in a Pro 40 match in 2012.
“I’ve had a couple of other four-wicket hauls, he told us with a typical chuckle, “and I have a top score of over 80 so I suppose after almost nine years at Sophia Gardens  two of my ambitions are to claim five wickets in an innings and to score a century.”

Still very much a St Ishmaels boy . . .

Both performances have been greeted with great delight by followers of cricket in Pembrokeshire because Andrew hails from the tiny village of St Ishmaels, played in a Harrison-Allen Bowl Final victory for then when he was 14 and is still very proud of his links in Tish and goes back whenever he can.
“Whenever I go back I am treated as one of the Tish boys, which I really enjoy, and it is great to chat to other cricketers from Pembrokeshire whenever they come up to watch matches.”
. . . And an early start on the Dale Peninsula
It all must seem a long time since Andrew started out at Tish when his father Graham and mother Irene Salter came to the county with him and older brother James and took them down to the village club for some practice. James is still playing social cricket in London, where he works, and is still bowling quite quickly.
“Dad had played for Malpas CC in Gwent and it wasn’t long before he, James and I were playing at some level for Tish, with mum as the hardest worker; always supporting in the background with scoring when required, helping with teas or taking us wherever we had to go to play.

Welsh representation from 11 years of age

“When I started to go to Welsh trials at under 11 level the travelling to training and for matches was horrendous so my parents bought an old camper van and we spent a lot of time in it. Being picked for Wales was a huge step forward for me and dad took us all to the Phoenix Bowl in Milford Haven for a celebratory pizza – and receiving my Welsh kit was a memorable moment for me!”
Andrew had a top score of 91 that season with Wales and played at every age group from then on - and his first century came later with a memorable six at Nuffield College where Neyland’s Ashley Sutton was also playing for Wales and his father Phil actually caught the ball as it flew over the boundary!
Another big step came after he was selected for the West of England at under 14 level after yet more trials.
“I was very nervous but dad always told me to just see it as another possible step up because I had done well to get there – and it was a great thrill when I was selected.”

A visit to Bunbury and a shock selection as England captain

“I progressed to play for the under 15s, where went to The Bunbury Festival at Scarborough, where the pick of all the top regions’  players were involved, and I was selected as captain of a West of England team which lost every match – but at the final evening’s presentations I won the award for being the best captain.
“That was a major surprise but to add to my amazement I was then chosen to captain the England under 15s team to play a one-day match against the English Schools’ Cricket Association at Lords!
“I will never forget that when I went in to the dressing room all the other boys had loads of kit, all from the same maker who probably sponsored them – and I had my unbranded bat and a mix of other kit from all over the spectrum.
“I palled up with Fabian Cowdrey, whose father Chris and grandfather Colin played for England, and we are still good friends – and in that match I actually hit a six straight into Chris’s hospitality box!”

Andrew at the Man of the Match presentation

Back to 2007– and a Harrison-Allen winners’ medal!

There was also a special moment for Andrew in 2007 when St Ishmaels reached the final of the Harrison-Allen Bowl for the first time and at he was selected to play in the big match against Carew, who were already multi-winners of the competition.
“The first game was eventually rained off but when it was replayed Peter Bradshaw refused to drop me from my role as his opening partner and it was another day to remember.
“We were rank outsiders but Jonathan Pawlett played well to win the man of the match and I repaid Braddy’s faith with innings of 60 and 20+ as well as a couple of wickets.
“We celebrated as only Tish can and we made it an amazing double by also playing really well in the league to become champions too!”

Trips abroad – and a Glamorgan debut

During his time in the 6th form at Milford Haven School, Andrew maintained his commitment and played in India and Sri Lanka  as a step towards hopeful selection for the under 19s World Cup Finals in Australia. “I trained really hard but was very disappointed when I wasn’t included in the squad,” admitted Andrew.
“When I went to university at Cardiff Met I continued playing for the Glamorgan Academy and trained regularly with the first team as it was a way to get a contract if you were playing well – and in 2012 I finally made my first team debut in a Pro 40 match against Durham.
In 2014 I made my debut in the championship and I removed Shiv Thakor (Leicestershire) with my very first ball, which he edged behind to keeper Wallace – and it was also memorable because Robert Croft presented me with a Glamorgan Cap before the game at St Helens.”

Memorable cup moments

“2013 was a very good season in which we beat Hampshire in the semi-final of the YB40 Cup at Lords but lost narrowly to Nottinghamshire in the final in what was Simon James last game for the club – but it was nice to be involved at 20 and at least I had a couple of wickets.
“I wasn’t so successful with the bat, though, as I was removed by Ajmal Shahzad and he gave me a noisy ‘send-off’ after I misjudged the ball, ‘shouldered arms’ and was adjudged lbw, before he enjoyed his celebration so much he even stuck his tongue out at me!
“Another good day came in 2017 as we reached the T20s final day at Edgbaston with Jacques Rudolph in our side and Chris Woakes was in the Warwickshire team. I hit a few sixes in the late charge which left us needing 20 off the last over but fell just short – but again it was nice to say I’ve savoured the atmosphere of such a day.”

Andrew pleased to see his former teacher!

Interesting trips ‘Down Under’!

Another rich source of experience for Andrew has been the fact that he has also spent two winters apiece playing in Australia (Sydney and Adelaide) and New Zealand (Wellington) on an ECB programme for talented young cricketers.
“It was so different because matches were played over two successive Saturdays and the pitches were much harder and the games so competitive although it was grade cricket – and I copped for loads of stick when I was batting as they wanted to get ‘The ******* Pom’ out!
“Explaining I was Welsh, and not English, only seemed to make matters worse so it was interesting, to say the least – but I enjoyed the whole experience of the cricket and the countries.”

Andrew a while ago with parents Graham and Irene, plus brother James

Motor bikes and cafes do mix

Outside of his cricket, one of Andrew’s major interests has been motorbikes after he started out with a 125cc machine but now has a Royal Enfield 650cc that he loves taking for ‘a spin’ on reflective days out.
“There is no better way better to relax and as a result my friend Sam Daymond and I have established a café, primarily for bikers to enjoy in Goytre, in Monmouthshire, but also anyone else who wants what I can only describe as ‘a real cup of coffee’.
“We are self-confessed coffee snobs,” he chuckles, “one of the other owners is Welsh Rugby international George North. We called the business, ‘Baffle Culture’ after a part used on motor bikes to reduce noise, and ironically we spend most of the time doing the polar opposite!”

Salts at his new venture - The Bikers Cafe

And finally . . .

So what of the future for Andrew?
He seems to have been around on the Glamorgan scene for a long time but at 28 years of age he still has plenty of time to put his wealth of experience to more good effect at Sophia Gardens.
There is no doubt that he has flown the Pembrokeshire Flag in county cricket with great commitment and style in a sport where few from this county have managed to stay for long – and we at can only say to Andrew Salter that he represents all that is good in his chosen sport and long may he continue to be so involved at such a high level!

All kitted up for a ride on his bike