NEW Gloucestershire hero Will Tavare has revealed how a chat with his uncle, former England batsman Chris Tavare, helped resurrect his cricket career.
Henleaze-based Tavare has made a fairytale start since joining his home county, scoring two centuries – both at Bristol – in the opening three County Championship games this season.
The 24-year-old’s 100 not out in front of England captain Alastair Cook helped Gloucestershire rescue a draw from their rain-affected game against Essex last week as he shared an unbroken second wicket partnership of 233 with Alex Gidman, who scored an unbeaten 119, to see them to 251-2 after conceding a first innings deficit of 171.
However, Tavare’s career never looked like taking off after he was initially overlooked by Gloucestershire beyond age group cricket and his five first class appearances for Loughborough MCCU between 2010 and 2012 went largely unnoticed.
Tavare turned to his uncle, who played 31 Test matches for England, before enhancing his development by playing the high standard grade cricket in Australia, and believes the advice he was given helped turn his fortunes around.
“We had a good chat before I went to Australia a few years ago which helped me figure out my game a bit,” said Tavare.
“He’s very knowledgeable and is always happy to help me and anyone else to be honest. We had a chat about structuring innings and little mental practices, and it was really useful for me to be honest.
“There are a few things people have done which have influenced me and that was definitely one of those times.
“Using his experience is very useful and I need to keep doing it to be honest.”
Tavare finally earned his chance after impressing for Gloucestershire seconds last season, which he feels has helped him settle quickly.
He was also team-mates with vice-captain Chris Dent at youth level and, while they may have experienced very different paths to the first team, Tavare is hoping to follow in the footsteps of the left-handed opener, who has established himself as a key member of the side over the last five years. “I look at him as someone I’d like to do similar things to,” said Tavare of Dent.
“He’s an unbelievable player and to be honest it was quite obvious to see that when we were younger.
“We didn’t know how good he’d be but we knew he’d be one of those who would go on and do well and it’s been great to be involved for quite a while with him through that.
“I’ve known a lot of the guys for quite a while now. I’ve known Denty since I was 12 or 13 and we started playing age group stuff together.
“Alex (Gidman) and Hamish (Marshall) have been really good as senior players, and it’s been really easy with John (Bracewell) to talk about the game.
“He’s really encouraging us to get involved in that sort of thing and not keep quiet in the corner.”
Gloucestershire had no game this week, and will be searching for their first County Championship win of the season when they travel to The Oval on Sunday to face Surrey, who are captained by former South Africa star Graeme Smith.
Wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick (broken finger) and seam bowler Craig Miles (back) are back in contention after returning to action for the seconds against Worcestershire, while Ian Saxelby could be involved again after making his first appearance since August 2012 against Essex and taking 3-71.