DIRECTOR of cricket John Bracewell believes the new 50-over competition will suit Gloucestershire next season.
The Royal London Cup replaces the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition this year in a move to replicate the limited overs format played at international level with two white balls being used in an innings – one at each end.
Gloucestershire’s one-day success between 1999 and 2004 came predominantly in the 50-over format during Bracewell’s first spell at the club and he thinks it will also play to his current side’s strengths.
“With each ball only being used for 25 overs, they will stay harder for longer, which will suit a genuine seamer like Will Gidman,” said Bracewell.
“That brings one more bowler into play, who we didn’t use much in one-day cricket last season, and it should strengthen our attack.
“The games being longer will also suit our batting style because we are not a power hitting side.
“While we do have some power, we tend to want to manoeuvre the ball around the park and our ratio of fours is much higher than our sixes count.
“The extra ten overs will be to our benefit and I expect us to be very competitive in the competition.”
With an extra 20 overs per one-day game compared to last season’s competition, Bracewell insists he will have to rotate the squad in the different formats.
“We will need to target players for certain formats because we cannot expect them all to play what can amount to six days a week once T20 gets underway,” he said.
“With such a small squad, we will need to be very careful about selection and make full use of our personnel.
“The extra 20 overs in a day that are involved in the Royal London Cup will take a toll over the season and I will be looking to rotate our bowlers to try and keep them as fresh as possible for when they are needed.”
Gloucestershire’s first Royal London Cup fixture will be at the Cheltenham Festival against Northamptonshire on Sunday, July 27.
Also in their group are Yorkshire, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Essex, Lancashire, Worcestershire and Derbyshire.